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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
In pictures: California wildfires

Firefighters in San Diego county, 24 October 2007

Firefighters are still battling fires that have spread over at least 674 sq miles (1,745 sq km) of southern California, from Santa Barbara down to the Mexican border.

A statue and lamp post stand at the site of a burned home in Running Springs, 24 October 2007

Estimated material damage from the fires has risen to more than $1bn (488m).

A firefighter in San Diego county sprays water into a torrent of hot ambers, 24 October 2007

Firefighters have been working non-stop, 36-hour shifts, struggling to dampen the flames, many working in dangerous conditions like this hail of embers.

A helicopter carries an empty bucket in Running Springs, California, 24 October 2007

But winds dropped in some areas on Wednesday, allowing helicopters and air tankers to dump water on fires.

Ruins of a home in San Diego, California, 24 October 2007

At least 1,600 homes have been destroyed. Some people fled from the fires clutching only their most treasured possessions.

Tony (L) and Nancy Heinrichs at their home in the Rancho Bernardo neighbourhood 24 October 2007

This couple returned to find their home in the Rancho Bernardo neighbourhood in San Diego ravaged by fires.

US cabinet meeting, 24 October 2007

President George W Bush has declared seven counties major disaster areas and has ordered federal funding to help tackle the crisis.

Rigoberto and Bernardina Rozco wait in the Temecula Community recreation centre 23 October 2007

Around a million people have been forced to leave their homes as the fires have caused havoc in southern California.

Tents in the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, 24 October 2007

The San Diego area has been hit hardest, with makeshift shelters set up for 300,000 people, including these tents in the stands at the Qualcomm Stadium.

Dan Long, left, and Tom Ramsey, barbecue hot dogs 24 October 2007

But support has also been on hand. These men barbecued hot dogs for Lake Arrowhead wildfire evacuees at a Red Cross evacuation centre.

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