Seau at Patriots practice, but distracted by California wildfires

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Junior Seau has more to worry about right now than Clinton Portis and the rest of the Washington Redskins offense.

The New England Patriots linebacker also is thinking about his hometown of San Diego, which has been ravaged by wildfires. Nearly 460,000 acres have burned in California this week, and losses in San Diego County alone total at least $1 billion.

Seau said Thursday that at least one of his homes has damaged and a restaurant he owns was temporarily used as a shelter.

"It's definitely not a normal week," said Seau, whose family, including his three children, live in San Diego.

The 18-year veteran spent his first 13 seasons with the Chargers, earning 12 straight Pro Bowl selections. Seau has several houses in the San Diego area.

Seau returned to the city on Tuesday, the Patriots' off-day this week as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Redskins. He helped relocate his parents to a beach-front home he owns in an area outside the danger zone.

"They're all in trouble," Seau said. "Not just my family and friends, but the whole community. To see that on TV and to know that everything that they're showing is familiar but unfamiliar due to the fact that it doesn't look the same from when I left it."

Seau said he turned his restaurant in San Diego into a shelter for his employees' families. A few dozen people stayed there Monday and Tuesday, before the restaurant reopened Wednesday, according to an employee.

"You have all the stories about your friends -- they're losing everything," Seau said. "You can't really understand what is actually transpiring daily. Lives are changing, and they're in desperate need of help."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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