500 Homes lost in CA wildfires, local volunteers lend a hand

Posted: Updated:
Californians survey the damage
azfamily.com

CHINO VALLEY - Now that the winds have calmed down, firefighters are hoping to make some gains on the wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes in Southern California.

No deaths have been reported. But police have brought trained dogs to search the rubble of a mobile home park where about 500 homes were destroyed. They're focusing on homes that still have cars parked in front.

More than 34 square miles have burned since Thursday in parts of Los Angeles County, Riverside and Orange Counties to the east, and Santa Barbara County to the northwest.

Today's easing of the Santa Ana winds has allowed firefighters to set backfires, in hopes of blocking the main fires from advancing into hillside neighborhoods.

The blaze that's the biggest threat right now has charred more than 16 square miles since it started yesterday in Orange and Riverside counties.

Early today, the flames came dangerously close to a church and a mobile home park north of Yorba Linda, but firefighters were able to beat it back. One mobile home was lost.