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Tahoe wildfire's painful lessons

Lake Tahoe, California
THE WILDFIRE that quickly destroyed more than 200 houses near South Lake Tahoe hit home in the Bay Area in many painful ways.

Many of those homes were owned by Bay Area residents.

The chilling images of charred trees and cars and and lonely chimneys marking where homes used to stand were painful reminders of the Oakland Hills (2,500 homes) and Mount Vision (50 homes) fires.

And the breathtaking swiftness of the flames, driven by strong gusty winds, roaring through wooded neighborhoods parched by years of drought is a chilling reminder of what could happen here again.

Photo Above: A home owner cries as she sits in the remains of a home she rented in Meyers, Calif., that was completely destroyed, June 26, 2007. (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
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