Californian tourism escapes effects of wildfires

Wildfires sweeping southern California are yet to affect the tourist trade.

The main fire in the Angeles National Forest, which killed two firemen, doubled in size over the weekend. It is now threatening 12,000 homes in the Los Angeles area. The blaze destroyed 85,000 acres of land.

The Mount Wilson Observatory for astronomers is also under threat, but so far Los Angeles International Airport has not been affected.

A further 10 fires are blazing in the region and more than 2,500 firefighters are tackling them.

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has issued emergency declarations in four counties and paid tribute to the firefighters who were killed on Sunday.

However, a Foreign Office (FCO) spokeswoman said no British nationals had been caught up in the fires and added there had been no update on the advice for people travelling to the region.

Premier Holidays USA, Canada and the Caribbean general manager Heidi Blades said the situation is being monitored.

She added: “We haven’t had any problems, but we’re waiting for an update.”

A Virgin Holidays spokeswoman added: “We have been liaising with resort regarding the wildfires in California and our destination manager in California has been making contact with all passengers on flydrive holidays in or due to travel to the affected areas.

“Due to poor air quality within the Yosemite area we are continuing to offer customers the opportunity to amend their itineraries if they wish, or to travel as planned.”

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