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Firefighters Continue to Battle California Blazes


Firefighters in the western U.S. state of California say they are making progress in the battle to control wildfires threatening more than 10,000 homes along the cost of the Pacific Ocean.

The state fire protection agency said Saturday favorable weather conditions helped firefighters contain many of the fires, while more than 300 continue to burn.

Efforts are focused on two fires - one threatening the popular tourist destination of Big Sur, and another near the town of Goleta, north of Los Angeles.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited a firefighting command post, where he praised the effort of emergency crews battling the blazes.

On Friday, the governor ordered an additional 200 National Guard troops to join the 20,000 emergency personnel battling the fires.

Nearly 2,000 fires have burned in hot, dry conditions in California since June 20. Most of the fires were started by lightning strikes.

California is often hit by wildfires due to its arid climate and hot, dry winds. Last year, fires destroyed more than 200,000 hectares and some 2,000 in southern California.

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