Nation: The Winds of Autumn

Raging brushfires scorch Southern California

Lashed by hot, howling desert winds, they are such a seasonal feature in Southern California that fire officials give them names, like hurricanes. This week "Thunder," "Indian Truck," "Lakeland" and five other brushfires consumed 84,000 acres of hillsides and canyons in the region. Only a week earlier, 63,000 acres near Los Angeles had been blackened.

The worst of the brushfires was "Panorama," and it certainly lived up to its' name. In its panoramic sweep the fire burned out 23,000 acres in San Bernardino County, the area hardest hit by...