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California wildfires dying down, firefighters gaining control

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San Diego County - 10/31/07 - Responsible for 14 deaths and the scorching of more than 800 square miles, California wildfires continue to be fought by local and state firemen who are eager to get the blaze extinguished before this weekend, when wind speeds are expected to pick up again.

San Diego County - 10/31/2007 - Responsible for 14 deaths and the scorching of more than 800 square miles, California wildfires continue to be fought by local and state firemen who are eager to get the blaze extinguished before this weekend, when wind speeds are expected to pick up again.

More than a dozen major wildfires destroyed 2,000-plus homes, and many may not have been accidents. Police have arrested at least five people for arson in relation to the fires, which began Sunday, Oct. 21. Four blazes are categorized as having a human cause, according to the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

Officials are offering a $285,000 reward to anyone with information that will lead to an arrest and conviction.

Hundreds of thousands of residents have been evacuated, and their animals displaced, relying on the help of others for shelter and care , as previously reported by DVM Newsmagazine. Local organizations are also rallying to provide funding and supplies to help get the area back on its feet.

Four veterinarians have reported losing their homes to the flames; however, no DVMs at press time reported having lost their veterinary clinics, says Paulette White, San Diego County Veterinary Medical Association executive director.

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