Forest fires started in the US state of California on Tuesday and are still spreading. So far thousands of people have had to leave their homes.
Robert Nisbet reports:
Underneath the layer of thick smoke now covering all of southern California, thousands of firefighters are still struggling to contain ten separate blazes. Thirteen people are now known to have died, at least nine in the state's biggest fire in San Diego County.
Over a quarter of a million acres and six hundred and fifty homes have been destroyed in what the outgoing governor, Gray Davis, is calling the worst fires in California for a decade. He's asked President Bush to declare the area a disaster zone to free up federal funds. The fires have taken hold because of drought and an infestation of bark beetle, which has left millions of dead trees. Emergency services say it may take until Wednesday bring the fires under control.
Robert Nisbet, BBC, California
over quarter of a million acres
más de 250.000 acres de superficie, más de 100.000 hectáreas
gobernador saliente de California
zona de desastre
free up federal funds
liberó, adjudicó fondos federales
en este caso, fuego incontrolable
tipo de escarabajo que ataca la corteza de los árboles
Servicios de emergencia, socorro
bring the fires under control
controlar los incendios