Jail evacuated as fires rage in Southern California - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Jail evacuated as fires rage in Southern California

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Associated Press - October 22, 2007 4:03 PM ET

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Wildfires are blazing across much of Southern California, prompting hundreds of thousands of evacuations. The people who are on the move include jail inmates and nursing home residents.

In Orange County, officials are evacuating more than 1,000 inmates from a jail because of heavy smoke. A sheriff's spokesman says the prisoners are being bused to another facility in Irvine.

All San Diego Police Department officers and off duty detectives have been ordered to return to work to help with evacuations.

One fire official says there are "more houses burning than we have people and engine companies to fight them."

The director of the California National Guard says guardsmen assigned to protect the U.S. border have been forced to evacuate 1 of their barracks, and troops are aiding evacuations. He says "the border is still secure."

The San Diego County supervisor calls it a "major emergency" with about 100,000 acres already charred by more than two dozen wildfires. There's one known death.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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