[NFA] An incendiary mix of strong, shifting winds and drought-parched vegetation stoked two of California's largest wildfires on Wednesday, with thousands of residents chased from their foothill and mountain homes in the Sierra Nevada range.
Strong winds and dry vegetation stoked two of California's largest wildfires on Wednesday - the Caldor Fire and the Dixie Fire - which are growing in size.
“Everybody is going to be sucking smoke for a long time.” Cal Fire Director Thom Porter: “Getting people out of the way of these fires is the best way for us to be able to protect your communities.
We need you to evacuate.
We need you to evacuate early." Thousands of residents were chased from their homes this week in the Sierra Nevada range, northeast of San Francisco.
Jessica Engle was one of them.
She packed up her animals and left her community in Swansboro.
"I got a notice at midnight - just a warning - but due to the experience I've had with other fires, especially the Santa Rosa fire, I knew that they can only guess really about what's going to happen with the weather so I decided that I would take my life in my own hands and get down the hill before it became chaos.” The Caldor fire grew from about 6500 acres to more than 52,000 acres in 24 hours, according to fire officials.
And on Tuesday, it blew into the 1200-person town of Grizzly Flats - torching an elementary school, a post office and dozens of homes.
The Dixie Fire - which has been raging since mid-July - grew to 635,000 acres as of Wednesday.
It’s destroyed at least 1200 homes and structures and, officials say, it’s threatening another 16,000 buildings.