U.S. firefighters have partially contained two of the biggest wildfires
ravaging parts of the western state of California, allowing some
residents to return to their homes.
Officials say firefighters
took advantage of cooler temperatures and low winds Monday in the Los
Padres National Forest, near the town of Goleta, and now have that fire
35 percent contained. Some nearby residents who had been forced to
evacuate were allowed to return to their homes.
Officials say a
second fire, raging near Big Sur, is 18 percent contained. The area
along California's Pacific coast is a scenic vacation area where
mountains descend sharply to the ocean shore.
However, progress in fighting the big blazes may be short-lived.
warn a new weather system is likely to bring hotter, drier weather
Tuesday, with temperatures near 38 degrees (Celsius -100 degrees
They also say there is a possibility of lightning strikes, which could spark additional fires.
the past two weeks, wildfires have blackened more than 200,000 hectares
of land and destroyed at least 40 homes. One firefighter has also died.
in California have also arrested one man, after he and his brother used
a series of backfires to save their home near Big Sur.
often use backfires, also called controlled burns, to keep wildfires
from spreading. But California officials say civilians are prohibited
from using backfires because they can be dangerous, and cause
additional damage or death.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.