California gets emergency declaration

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- President Bush is declaring an emergency in California because of its hundreds of wildfires.

He's telling federal agencies to help where they can. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger asked for the declaration only yesterday.

South of Big Sur, California, the huge wildfire that threatened almost 600 homes is now 80 percent contained. In the three weeks it's been burning, it's charred 92 square miles and two homes plus 14 other structures.

The wildfires in Northern California are having an impact far beyond the flames.

Athletic events and outdoor activities are being canceled because of smoke and ash. Some areas are having their worst air quality on record. A state air quality official says pollution readings in the region are two to 10 times the federal standard for clean air.

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