Wildfires rage in drought-plagued California

Wildfires in the hills of San Marcos, CA, USA, 16 May 2014 (Stuart Palley/EPA)

Wildfires in the hills of San Marcos, CA, USA, 16 May 2014 (Stuart Palley/EPA)

Firefighters in Southern California are gaining the upper hand on dozens of wildfires which have been burning mostly in San Diego County over the past several days thanks to cooler temperatures and lighter winds.

The American Southwest is tinder-dry thanks to little rain over the winter – which is traditionally the rainy season – and skyrocketing spring temperatures which have soared into the 40s Celsius.

California fire officials say dozens of homes and other buildings have been damaged or destroyed in the fires with numerous injuries but only one death reported so far.

The cause of the fires is being investigated but at least one was related to a spark from outdoor power equipment.

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