California Fires Could Get Worse

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- As firefighters close in on wildfires that have burned for the past week in Southern California, authorities warn against breathing a sigh of relief just yet.

Forecasters say there's a chance that moderate Santa Ana winds could return in the next seven days. Because of that, one fire official says "it's a little premature to be celebrating." He says officials hope to control all the fires within a week, but that fierce, dry winds could send fire crews "off to the races again."

More than a dozen fires are now fully surrounded, and seven other blazes are between 50 and 97 percent contained.

Meanwhile, nearly all evacuation orders have been lifted, allowing residents to go home, assess damage and decide what to do next.

The fires are blamed for seven deaths.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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