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Quotes about the Southern California wildfires

What people were saying Monday about the wildfires burning across Southern California:

"We have a very dangerous, unpredictable situation. We have some of the highest temperatures, some of the driest landscape conditions, and some of the most powerful winds - all ingredients for a perfect firestorm." - Ron Roberts, chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors

"If it's this big and blowing with as much wind as it's got, it'll go all the way to the ocean before it stops. We can save some stuff but we can't stop it." - San Diego fire Capt. Kirk Humphries


"You do not expect something to stretch our resources to this magnitude. ... To try and staff something this big, you cannot predict it." - Los Angeles County fire Inspector Sam Padilla

"It was nuclear winter. It was like Armageddon. It looked like the end of the world." - San Diego city firefighter Mitch Mendler

"I'm just standing here watching my life go up in flames. This is just too unbelievable. This can't be happening to me." - Escondido resident Kathie Browning, as she watched her family's home burn

"Anything the mayor needs, anything San Diego needs - we are there. We are partners in this, the state and the federal government, everyone is coming together to help." - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

"It's very important that (residents) understand that life is more important than property. If they're asked to leave they must leave. When they don't leave they not only threaten their lives but they take firefighters and law enforcement away from what they're doing to get them out of the house." San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender


"The house went up like a Roman candle. ... If we weren't here, the whole neighborhood would go up. There just aren't enough fire trucks around." - San Diego resident Tom Sollie, who ignored evacuation orders to stay and water his roof.

"This is the beginning, unfortunately, of the Santa Ana season. ... It looks like what's happening now is a preview of the coming attraction." - NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Bill Patzert.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)