California, under assault from a record heat wave, is seeing its firefighting crews stretched to the limit as hundreds of blazes scorch swaths of the state.
More than 300,000 acres have burned by fires, one of which authorities suspect was caused by arson. The state, where temperatures in some areas are above 100 degrees, has 23 major fires and a total of about 367.
One firefighter has died. A helicopter pilot, who was dropping water on a blaze, crashed. There was no one else aboard, officials said
One family who lost a home said they were told by a fire chief as they evacuated that there weren’t enough trucks to use some in their neighborhood.
Authorities said one man has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with one of the fires.
Throughout the state, many people were suffering from the heat and the smoke and tens of thousands of customers were without power.
State getting help from others
People were told to leave parts of the Northern California city of Vacaville as a wildfire tore through the countryside nearby.
Officials are using a senior center as an evacuation center. Layers of ash cover the cars in the parking lot. About 20 or so people are there having fled their homes.
Marci and Ken Albers lost their house in Vacaville.
“(Firefighters) couldn’t do anything, they just had to watch it burn,” Marci said. “They had no trucks to take out there.”
The Albers said the fire chief told them that there were no trucks to battle the blaze because they were all being used to fight the fire in Lake Berryessa.