1. Wide of smoke from wildfire in the Santa Cruz mountains ++MUTE++
2. Helicopter performing containment drops on fire ++MUTE++
Bonny Doon, California - 12 June 2008
2. Wide of small fire in charred area of woodland
3. Close-up of small fire
4. Wreckage of burnt vehicle
5. Wide of smoking remains of house
6. Wreckage of burnt vehicle
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Steve Sohl, Bonny Doon Resident:
"It was amazing how fast it went. And then all of a sudden it jumped the road. We kept putting out spot fires over everywhere. It was raining down ash. The trees across the street exploded."
8. Mid of smouldering trees and brush
9. Various of firefighter scraping dirt over a small fire
10. Wide of firefighters hosing the ground, with corner of fire engine in foreground
11. SOUNDBITE: (English) Paul Van Gerwen, Battalion Chief:
"Having that kind of fire activity at this time of the year in this range, it alarms me, and I've been doing this for a while. So what we're hoping is that citizens pay attention to this. If you haven't created some of that defensible space, you need to do so. It's too late after the fire's coming."
Paradise, California - 12 June 2008
12. Wide of smoke rising near a golf course
13. Mid of flames near golf course
14. Pull out of helicopter with water carrier lifting water out of pond
15. Various of firefighters at fire truck
16. Wide of smoke in trees
17. Wide shot of plane dropping fire retardant on flames
ABC (KGO) - No Access N.America/Internet
Oakland, California - 12 June 2008
18. Various of wildfire burning near homes and buildings ++MUTE++
Hundreds of firefighters struggled to gain control of a series of wildfires burning across Northern California on Thursday, including a wind-whipped blaze that forced thousands to leave their homes in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The blaze, which started around midday on Wednesday, had grown to nearly 13 square miles (21 square kilometres) and threatened about 1650 buildings.
In the Bonny Doon area, about 10 miles (16 kilometres) northwest of Santa Cruz, a wildfire quickly grew to one square mile (1.6 square kilometres) after it broke containment on Wednesday afternoon.
It was unclear how many structures had been damaged, fire officials said.
Evacuations were ordered for 500 residents in the heavily forested hills.
Voluntary evacuations were in place for another one-thousand residents.
Nearly 800 firefighters were battling the blaze, which could spread to as many as 1,500 acres (607 hectares), firefighters said.
Authorities also closed all roads to Paradise, a town of about 30-thousand residents about 90 miles (145 kilometres) north of Sacramento.
Hot temperatures and tinder-dry vegetation prevailed throughout Northern California, where hundreds of firefighters were deployed on fire lines from the North Coast wine country to the Central Valley.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Butte County late on Wednesday to free up additional firefighting resources.
He declared another one in Santa Cruz County early on Thursday.
Further south, the state's largest wildfire had charred more than 16-thousand acres (6500 hectares) in the Los Padres National Forest and was only 16 percent contained.
Wildfires on Tuesday destroyed 32 homes in Stockton, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) south of Sacramento, and 21 homes in Palermo, about 60 miles (97 kilometres) north of the state capital.
A small grass fire in Oakland, California burned dangerously close to several structures.
According to a driver in the area, there were flames approximately 20 feet (six metres) high along with thick black smoke a couple hundred yards (metres) off the freeway.