Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

California's fires continue to blaze with little containment

by KPCC staff | Take Two®

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A large plume of smoke from a brush fire rises over the city of Orange, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. A wildfire has erupted about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles in the hill country of eastern Orange County. The Anaheim Fire Department said the fire erupted late Monday morning. Chris Carlson/AP

Fires are raging throughout California. That includes the Canyon Fire 2 in Anaheim Hills. It's burned 7,500 acres and destroyed 24 structures, including many homes. Thousands have been evacuated.

"There's low-lying smoke all throughout the canyon," said Jill Replogle, KPCC's Orange County reporter.

Officials say the weather conditions helped the fires spread quickly. Intense winds blew throughout California, creating blazes in multiple locations across the state.

"We have 17 major fires burning, 16 of those being up here in Northern California," said Jonathon Cox, Northern California Battalion Chief.

The Northern California fires are most significant in Sonoma, Napa and Yuba counties. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for those areas.

"Cal Fire responds to hundreds of fires every day throughout California. Ninety percent of the time we're able to keep those fires at less than ten acres," Cox said.  "Some of these fires that grew in the last 36 hours were driven by 50-mile to 70-mile-per-hour winds. When you get a fire established in those kinds of conditions, it's not a fire-fight at that point; it's a sheer life, safety and rescue effort."

Cox says that those winds have died down today, which has helped containment efforts. But while firefighters continue to combat the flames from multiple locations, some areas have already been devastated by the fires.

"I came across a scene of just total devastation," said KQED reporter Danielle Venton.

Venton went to Santa Rosa County where she saw first hand the damage from the fire at the Journey's End mobile home park.

"It looked like a bomb went off. It looked like war zone," Venton said. "All of the mobile homes were flattened. Just pieces of melted twisted metal. I've never seen anything like it."

Venton was evacuated to the Petaluma Veterans Hall in Sonoma County. While the fires have affected her, she's been encouraged by the community response.

"This is a time when the community comes together and tries to take care of everyone," she said. "I'm happy to be part of this community, but just really shaken up that it happened here."

To hear more about the California fires, click the blue play button above.

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