Schwarzenegger Asks Bush To Declare Fire Emergency

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has asked President Bush to declare a state of emergency as fires continue to burn throughout California.

State fire officials say lightning strikes last weekend sparked 1,000 blazes across Northern California that so far have burned 302 square miles. More lightning storms are expected this weekend.

Schwarzenegger is requesting direct federal assistance. That would include air and ground firefighting crews, debris removal and help evacuating and sheltering residents and animals.

The counties covered by his request for an emergency declaration
are Butte, Mendocino, Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta and

Schwarzenegger's office released his letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-06-27-08 1409EDT

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