NAPA, California - "The fires are still out there. They are still actively growing," said Chief Barry Bierman of the Napa County Fire Department.
In fact, these are the deadliest wildfires in California's history. And just like the flames, the numbers are rising. People killed? That's in double-digits. Injuries are in the triple digits. With limited resources, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. President Trump agrees which means FEMA will be able to provide equipment and support on the west coast.
Vice President Mike Pence elaborates, "This includes debris removal, emergency protective measures, search and rescue operations."
Because the fires are being fueled by a fierce wind and extremely dry conditions, the situation's getting worse. "Most of these fires have limited or no containment," explains Chief Ken Pimlott, the California Fire Director.
The number of homes and buildings decimated is devastating. Very conservative estimates are that more than 1,500 structures have been reduced to ashes. Entire neighborhoods are wiped out in Santa Rosa and homes are literally going up in flames in the Anaheim hills. The canyon fire has scorched 7,500 acres and forced thousands to evacuate Napa, Mendocino and Sonoma counties, often with just the clothes on their back. At last count, 5,000 people are spread out among 28 shelters.
The fires are so impressive, the smoke and haze is even visible from outer space. Plus, you can smell it nearly 100 miles away.
It may look kind of cool the way the flames billow ominously behind the Mickey Fun Wheel at Disneyland. But trust us, no one is getting any amusement out of this catastrophe.