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Southern California Wildfires Worsen; Local Tribal Chairman Describes ConditionsAired January 3, 2001 - 11:01 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to start with the fires in southern California, where, frankly, things are going from bad to worse in Alpine, California. Thirty miles east of San Diego, it is there that a wildfire is growing fast, and so far, it is burning out of control.
We're showing you live pictures now as we can show you that the fire is covering several hundred acres. It's being fanned by strong winds gusting up to 65 miles an hour.
This is just one of many homes that we have seen engulfed in the flames this morning. The fire, at first, threatened homes in the small California town of Alpine.
As you can see, the flames have found at least this home. Several homes have burned. The fire shut down a five-mile stretch of Interstate 8.
Five thousand to 8,000 people are in this community. A number of people have been evacuated from homes on the south side of the highway, to a nearby school.
Fire crews have started setting backfires in hope of bringing these flames under control. They have not, obviously, had a luck with that yet today.
We have on the phone with us Steve Tesam (ph). He is chairman of the Dehigh-Kumi-i (ph) Indian tribe that also has its reservation very close to the town of Alpine.
Mr. Tesam, are you with us?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma'am.
KAGAN: Can you tell us the situation on the reservation this morning, please?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, right now, I'm looking south. What we call -- is east Willows Road (ph) and I8, we have, probably, looks like, 20 plus acres on the north side of the reservation -- I mean on north side of the freeway. That's threat to the reservation right now. KAGAN: Mr. Tesam, we're going to ask you to hold on. We have two developing stories happening at the same time -- we'll go back to those live pictures and to Mr. Tesam in just a moment.
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