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Last Updated: Monday, 22 October 2007, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
In pictures: California wildfires

Firefighters from the Orange County Fire department hose a blaze near Irvine, California

A state of emergency is declared across southern California as more than 1,500 firefighters battle at least 12 blazes across the US state, including one near the city of Irvine.

Malibu Presbyterian Church burns in one of several blazes across southern California on Sunday 21 October

Malibu Presbyterian Church was one of several local landmarks razed in a blaze that hit the seaside city.

Firefighters mop-up damage at an expensive beach-front home in Malibu

About 1,000 firefighters were called to the blaze at Malibu, home to many wealthy celebrities.

Firefighters work to extinguish the flames at Castle Kashan near Malibu Canyon Road, California

Castle Kashan was also destroyed. Built in the 1970s, it was the home of local philanthropist Lilly Lawrence.

The burned remnants of a car sit on Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

The ground is parched after a record summer heatwave that caused wildfires across large swathes of the western US, from northern Washington state all the way south to New Mexico.

A tanker drops fire retardant on the Sedgwick Reserve fire in Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara County

Air crews have been called in to dump water and fire retardant in forests across the state.

Firefighters examine damage near Malibu Colony shopping centre

The Malibu blaze is thought to have been caused by a power cable that blew over in fierce winds.

Malibu residents take cover from high winds and smoke as fires rage nearby

Hurricane-force winds are fanning the blazes, and they are not expected to ease until mid-week.

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