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Phil Mickelson forced out by fire

The wildfires that have razed scores of homes across Southern California haven't discriminated -- the rich and famous have been as affected as anybody.

PGA Tour star Phil Mickelson and his family were part of a posh San Diego community that was evacuated by law enforcement officials Monday because of the devastating fires, which had destroyed an estimated 1,200 homes statewide as of midday Tuesday.

Mickelson, who lives in an upscale development in Rancho Sante Fe, was evacuated along with his neighbors and is staying in another location in San Diego, where his parents still reside.

"We don't know the status of the Mickelson home," Mickelson's spokesman, T.R. Reinman, said Tuesday afternoon. "We do know that homes located within a mile of his house have been destroyed."

Nobody has been allowed back into the area and the unpredictable Santa Ana winds, gusting at 70 mph according to some estimates, have made it unclear when residents will be able to check on the state of their seven-figure homes, Reinman said.

"The winds have made it a hopscotching fire and that much harder to contain," Reinman said.

The home of reigning NCAA Division I golf champion Jamie Lovemark, a sophomore at USC, is located in the same development and also has been threatened. Gary Lovemark, Jamie's father, said a home located 200 yards away from his burned Tuesday.

The Lovemarks, who were in Orlando for a Division I college event, were getting periodic updates from a neighbor who defied the evacuation order and was calling friends to keep them appraised of the damage.

"It's been pretty awful," Gary Lovemark said.


October 23, 2007

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