An outbreak ofhas killed at least five people in California and forced more than 60,000 from their homes. More than 40 firefighters and civilians have been injured, and more than 500 homes and other buildings have been destroyed.
Nearly 12,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, as smoke stretches into Canada and Mexico and as far east as Nebraska. The flames have already scorched an area three times the size of Los Angeles.
Governor Gavin Newsom said resources are stretched thin. “We’ve been on the phone with governors, trying to reach out as far as the East Coast to see if we can get resources here into the state,” Newsom said.
More than 12,000 lightning strikes have been sparking the new fires. They’re igniting in places that haven’t burned in more than a century, and are even threatening the ancient redwoods.
The largest wildfire is currently burning in Solano County. It’s charred more than 220,000 acres — nearly three times more than the state’s largest wildfire last year.
Meanwhile, more than 60,000 people can’t return home. As a massive wall of flames approached Bill Jannisse’s home, there were no firefighters in sight.
He tried to cut his own firebreak — a gap in vegetation designed to slow a fire’s spread — but it wasn’t enough. When the flames reached his woodshop, he scrambled to save his motorcycle parked inside — but then, he was trapped.
“It fell on my leg, I couldn’t get it off me,” he said, crying. “I remember screaming but knowing no one was here. They were gone.”
“What were you thinking?” asked CBS News.
“I don’t want to go this way,” he said. “I’m not ready to go.”
He escaped and saved his home. But his livelihood is gone.
When asked what he’s going to do now, he said, “I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.”