SAN DIEGO — At least seven wildfires continue to rage out ofcontrol in San Diego County, causing thousands of residents toevacuate residential areas, and prompting many credit unions toclose branches.


According to Web sites, California Coast Credit Union has closedfive branches and San Diego County Credit Union has closed sixbranches. Cabrillo Credit Union, North Island Credit Union and SanDiego Metropolitan Credit Union have closed all branches today.


Evacuated areas of San Diego County include Fallbrook, ValleyCenter, Escondido, Poway, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Bernardo, SolanaBeach, Chula Vista, Otay Lakes and areas of San Diego city. Firesapproached the city from the mountains in the east early thismorning, driven by wind gusts over 50 mph. One fire destroyed homesin Rancho Bernardo this morning, heading west through the CarmelValley and forcing evacuations as far as Interstate 5, only a fewmiles from the Pacific Ocean.


The winds have prevented fire crews from using helicopters orairplanes to drop water or fire retardant from the air, and theforceful Santa Ana winds are expected to continue throughout thenight and tomorrow.

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