One person has died in the Valley Fire: a 72-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis who couldn’t get out of her house, fire officials said.
Aided by drought, the flames have consumed more than 105 square since the fire sped Saturday through rural Lake County, less than 100 miles north of San Francisco.
That fire, burning across 60,000 acres of drought-starved land, has roared through small towns since breaking out Saturday.
Cell phone video shot by a California family chronicles their harrowing escape from the Valley Fire as it burned near their in Anderson Springs, near Sacramento.
The blaze in Amador and Calaveras Counties has charred more than 112 square miles and was 40 percent contained on Tuesday.
Evacuated residents recounted chaotic ordeals of having to flee their homes through gauntlets of flame, and some 9 000 structures remained threatened as darkness fell on Monday evening, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Meanwhile fires also continue to rage across large parts of six other states, with Washington being the worst hit so far this year with 912,510 acres burned. A lot of clothes and other necessities items have been donated to the fire victims.
Langtry Estate and Vineyard, one of the most high-profile wineries in the area, suffered fire damage to some of its 1,000 acres of vineyards.
Tammy Moore was at work when the Valley Fire tore through Cobb, California, leveling the home she’s owned for 15 years. “They were making it impossible for civilians to get there and that left us, literally, sitting here”.
According to a GoFundMe page linked out from the video’s description, the YouTube user’s mother-in-law lives in the house, her grandfather built it, her husband grew up there and she and her husband were married by a creek on the property.
Firefighters have built containment lines in an effort to combat the flames, while Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the Northern California areas affected.
Hundreds of animals also lost their homes to the deadly firestorm and have ended up at evacuation centers, some with their families and some without.
Snapshots show a portion of the destruction left in the Valley Fire’s wake.
Officials say the wildfires, which have mobilised 30,000 firefighters, could be the costliest on record with more than $1.23 billion spent so far.
“Whether you’re a rookie firefighter… or a seasoned veteran, everyone is saying the same thing: [We] have not seen fires spread and move in the way they’re moving in this case”, Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said Monday.
Wildfires sweeping across California are threatening the USA state’s famed Sequoia trees, with firefighters scrambling to protect the national treasures.