Brian Savage
1,155 homes -- and counting

Exhausted and sometimes discouraged, firefighters struggled for a third day Tuesday to wrest control of more than a dozen wildfires in Southern California that threatened such familiar landmarks as the Mt. Palomar Observatory and the resort communities around Lake Arrowhead. Fire crews threw everything they had at the fires, but though there were notable successes, the toll of acreage, homes and lives lost continued to rise -- as did the volume of criticism from those who said the region was woefully unprepared for the cataclysm. By late Tuesday, the blazes had burned 420,424 acres -- about 656 square miles -- and destroyed 1,155 homes, making them nearly as large as the fires in October...