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USGNN Original StoryCalifornia Wildfires Force Evacuations

About 350,000 homes have been ordered evacuated in San Diego County as wildfires across Southern California destroyed more than 1,300 homes and 100 businesses since the fires began this past the weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for all of Southwestern California extending through tomorrow afternoon.

"We've had several reports of both board members and then members in general who have definitely been impacted," says Kerri Neidlinger, event coordinator for the Americas Glass Association (AGA) headquartered in Sacramento, Calif.

At least one AGA board member has been evacuated, and two others are on alert. Reports have also come to AGA of members' businesses that have been destroyed by the fires, according to Neidlinger.

Patty Hackett of US Horizon Mfg. Inc., a manufacturer of shower door hardware located in Valencia, Calif., is sitting virtually in the middle of the fires. "We just looked out our window and there's another one that flared up," she commented while on the phone with USGNN.comô/USGlass magazine.

Despite being "surrounded by fire on all sides," Hackett says that the company has continued to do business as normal. While the company hasn't had to close as a result of the fires, many of its employees have faced evacuations.

"A lot of employees had to get evacuated," Hackett reports. "Luckily nobody had any full losses."

According to Hackett, "It's been nonstop since Sunday."

President Bush has declared an emergency in the state of California and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the area struck by wildfires beginning on October 21, 2007, and continuing.

"The devastating fires in this county have killed already one person and injured four firefighters," said Governor Schwarzenegger during a press conference held yesterday.

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