Stoked by fierce winds in Malibu, California, on October 22, 2007, hot embers from a wildfire glow and float, leaving bright streaks in this long-exposure photograph. (Watch a video report.)
As of today, October 23, more than a dozen wildfires across southern California have destroyed some 1,300 homes; forced approximately 300,000 residents to evacuate; and charred 400 square miles, according to state and local officials.
The destruction has led President George W. Bush to proclaim the region, which includes Los Angeles and San Diego, a disaster area. The declaration clears the way for federal troops to aid Californians.