The Lucky Find Homes, but No Water, Power
Returning SoCal residents face weeks of hardships
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2007 6:24 AM CDT
United States Postal Service carrier Tracy Beard, left, wears a mask as she delivers mail personally to resident David Crane, right, who lost his home, seen in the background, in the Rancho Bernardo area...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Thousands of Southern California residents have returned to their homes—those fortunate enough to find them standing—to find no electricity and no drinking water, with town reservoirs drained to fight fires, and air choked with smoke and ash. The threat of changing weather also looms: the hot winds that fueled the fires are predicted to return tomorrow, ending the lull that allowed firefighters to battle back the blazes.

Firefighters are scrambling to contain the remaining fires while the favorable weather holds. "We want to take advantage of the conditions while we have them," one fire marshal said.  Qualcomm Stadium, which had housed 10,000 refugees, was being emptied out for Sunday's  game between the San Diego Chargers and Houston Texans.