Image: Three firefighters brace themselves from explosive heat coming from a burning home in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., Monday, October 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
SAN DIEGO - Wildfires fanned by fierce desert winds consumed huge swaths of bone-dry Southern California on Monday, burning dozens of buildings and threatening hundreds more from Malibu to San Diego, including a jail, a hospital and nursing homes.
"We have more houses burning than we have people and engine companies to fight them," San Diego Fire Captain Lisa Blake said. "A lot of people are going to lose their homes today."
Nearly 250,000 people were forced to flee in San Diego County alone, where hundreds of patients were being moved by school bus and ambulance from a hospital and nursing homes, sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Knauss said.