A video posted on social media Sunday appears to show two men and their dogs narrowly escaping from a California wildfire.
Two men in northern California scamper to shelter in their truck from a wildfire that has been barreling across the state since early October, video ABC News posted on Twitter shows. The men used the vehicle to plow through a wall of fire to safety.
“I can’t breathe, and my eyes are burning” one man can be heard saying. “My eyes are burning, too, but we still got oxygen, so we’re not dead yet,” the other man says in response as their Ford Exhibition slowly crawls through the fire and smoke.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 15, 2017
The men were escaping from an inferno that has burnt nearly 214,000 acres of land, forced about 100,000 residents to evacuate, and damaged at least 5,700 homes and businesses, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Officials announced Saturday that the death toll from the fire has reached 40.
“The emergency is not over,” Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, told reporters Friday as firefighters continue beating flames. “We are seeing some great progress in some of the areas the fires have impacted.”
Santa Rosa was among the hardest-hit areas in California. Nearly 2,834 homes, businesses and other buildings were destroyed in the city of 175,000. The city’s fire station was also engulfed in flames, according to Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey.
California’s windy and dry weather conditions are making it difficult for the 10,000 firefighters working to stamp out new wildfires from charring larger sections of the state.
Hundreds of additional fire engines and personnel have been requested from other states to help relieve weary first responder crews and to prepare for the possibility of rogue fires elsewhere, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Most of the fires ignited on the night of Oct. 8, but several more have popped up since. The cause of the wildfires is still under investigation.
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