Fire Rescues Tax Resources

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2007 12:16 PM CDT
Firefighters from the Orange County Fire department work a 3800 acre brush fire near Irvine, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007. Nearly a dozen wildfires driven by powerful Santa Ana winds spread across Southern...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As wildfires rage across the region, Southern California officials are begging residents to evacuate when ordered and to avoid making phone calls, CNN reports. “We've been unable to do any suppression effort because the fire resources are being used to do rescues,” one fire chief railed. Rescuers complain about clogged cellphone lines and frivolous calls to 911.

The fire, meanwhile, is growing more dangerous all the time. “The situation has gotten dramatically worse overnight—worse than many of us could have imagined just a few short hours ago,” the chief said. One San Diego official said the fire would be the most devastating in city history. High winds will continue fueling fires through tomorrow at least.