Fire Burning in Southern California for Fourth Day

By Stephanie Stanton

SAN DIEGO, California (KHNL) - More homes are destroyed by fire, the fourth day of the Southern California wildfires.

According to officials, more than 200 homes have been destroyed, with another 1,500 being threatened.

And they say, the fire is only 10% contained. The Santa Ana Winds are not as fierce as when the wildfires started on Sunday.

But still, the fires have scorched land twice the size of New York City. A state of emergency has been declared in seven counties.

Even NASA gives a hand to California firefighters with some of its space-age high flying equipment.  Scientists loaded up NASA's remote piloted vehicle Ikhana for a mission to fly over the fires.

Some residents in Southern California have been taking pictures of the wildfires.  You can see just how intense the flames are, and the damage they are causing.

The destruction is everywhere. Single homes sometimes entire neighborhoods left in rubble by four days of runaway wildfires.  At least a billion dollars of damage in San Diego county alone.

President bush signed a disaster declaration for seven southern california counties on wednesday, freeing up federal money for those whose losses aren't covered by insurance.

"I want the people in Southern California to know that Americans all across this land care deeply about them, we're concerned about their safety, we're concerned about their property, and we offer our prayers," said President Bush.

And now, there is finally good news on the front lines of the fires. The howling Santa Ana Winds that have whipped the flames and created fiery tornadoes at times are starting to die down.

Giving fire crews a chance to go on the attack on the ground and in the air.

"If the wind is with us we can actually start putting a line around this fire and holding it where it is," said firefighter Bob Mendez.

Meanwhile, the home of the NFL's San Diego Chargers has become a home for thousands of evacuees and the agencies trying to help them through this crisis.

And while most here say the experience at this massive shelter has been pleasant, they are still anxious to go home.  If they have a home to go back to.