Evacuees at a center in Middletown, Caliifornia expressed frustration at the lack of information as cooler weather helped crews build a buffer Monday between a raging Northern California wildfire and some of the thousands of homes it . (August 3)
"I've never seen a fire act like this one. The firefighters, they're awesome. They have to work and climb up all those hills with all that gear. But this is just above and beyond. It's amazing the way that thing spread. There was smoke 300 feet in the air."
2. SOUNDBITE (English): Donna McDonald - Evacuee from Clearlake, CA:
"I'm overwhelmed. I was very happy at one point when I saw no smoke at all. Then all of a sudden it just flared up real big again. All of it doubling then tripling, it's been very scary."
"All of us are worried but there's nothing we can do so we chat and meet each other. Some of us have lived close together for years and never met and now we are. We are all a little frustrated. Many of us don't think we really needed to go last night. Of course there's this great sense of frustration because the only information we get is from the media. People who are actually there and know what's going on don't tell us anything."
4. SOUNDBITE (English): Virginia Hart - Red Cross Public Affairs:
"I think people are very frightened that their homes may be gone and that their possessions are gone. But they're also trying to make the best of it. People have been very calm and collected but you can tell there's this underlying anxiety about whether or not their homes are still there."
Cooler weather helped crews build a buffer Monday between a raging Northern California wildfire and some of the thousands of homes it threatened as it tore through drought-withered brush that hadn't burned in years.
The fire — the largest blaze in drought-stricken California — roughly tripled in size over the weekend to 93 square miles, generating its own winds that fueled the flames and reduced thousands of acres of manzanita shrubs and other brush to barren land in hours.
Lower temperatures and higher humidity allowed firefighters to contain more of the fire in the Lower Lake area, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, said CalFire Capt. Don Camp.
Numerous other wildfires in California, Washington state and Oregon took off as the effects of drought and summer heat turned the West Coast combustible.