LOS ANGELES: Thousands of firefighters continued to battle huge wildfires in California on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), where a prolonged drought has left vegetation tinder-dry. At least one person has died in the blazes that have forced thousands of people to flee their homes. Since July 22, California has been threatened by blazes like the massive Soberanes fire which has charred 40,618 acres (16,437 hectares) north of Big Sur, one of the region’s most popular tourist draws with its sharp cliffs rising above the Pacific Ocean. Authorities have sent almost 5,300 people to fight the wildfire, which so far has been just 18 percent contained, according to data from the state CalFire agency. The fire has destroyed 57 homes, and is threatening another 2,000 structures which has prompted authorities to evacuate thousands of residents. The driver of a bulldozer died last week while taking part in the fire battle. Another wildfire, the Goose fire, has been burning since Saturday in Fresno county. It now has blackened 1,798 acres and is just five percent contained. CalFire said high temperatures were making it rough going for the some 1,300 firefighters battling that blaze. But it’s been good news for the Sand fire, in Santa Clarita just north of Los Angeles.