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Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
In pictures: California fire

A brush fire rages on a hill in Lockwood Valley, California

A forest fire has spread across thousands of acres in the desert area around Palm Springs in California.

Firefighting helicopters pass by a brush fire in Lockwood Valley, California

The blaze, which was exacerbated by dry conditions and high temperatures, is believed to have been started by arsonists.

Firefighters walk along a road in Cabazon, California

More than 700 firefighters arrived at the scene and hundreds of residents were evacuated.

A helicopter fills up with water from a farm pond along in California

Four firefighters were killed when flames engulfed them as they tried to protect a house in the area.

A huge tornado of fire caused by the wind in Ventura, California

A $100,000 (52,000) reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

 Smoke over Lockwood Valley near Frazier Park, California

The weather service has issued a red flag warning for extreme fire danger in the next few days.

Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking to a crowd in California

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger paid tribute to the firefighters who died and said Californians were heartbroken.

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