Residents Return to Burned Homes in CA

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Residents in Southern California are taking stock of what's left of their communities, after three separate wildfires ravaged their communities and destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and apartments.

The wind-fueled fires that erupted last week burned 42,000 acres, or 65 square miles, forcing thousands to flee. Most evacuation orders had been lifted by Tuesday as clear skies and calmer winds helped firefighters make progress. One of the fires in Santa Barbara County is now fully contained.

But now, for fire victims comes the heartbreaking task of cleaning up.

"We lost most of all of our money for our old age which is now in the stock market. And what we didn't lose, we've lost all of the stuff here, so we really don't have anything," said one wildfire victim.

The wildfires have burned their way through thousands of homes over tens of thousands of acres in the past few days.

Some say the carnage from a massive fire that burned through one mobile home park looks like the fallout of an atomic bomb. Here, nearly one thousand homes and apartments have burned.

Deborah Middleton, another fire victim, said, "I think it's the closest I've ever been to a war zone."

The fires have destroyed trailers and big beautiful homes alike.

Actor Christopher Lloyd of Taxi and Back to the Future, lost his house in Montecito with all the memorabilia from his film career inside.

"It's more of a shock to see everything completely altered," he said. But miraculously, a few homes were spared.

"We're overwhelmed with happiness and at same time guilt feelings - why were we spared and others were not?" said wildfire survivor Janice McCoy.

Meanwhile, today's weather forecast calls for light winds in southern California. It's a welcome change from this week's fierce Santa Ana winds.

The break will help firefighters gain more control over the remaining fires.

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