California Wildfires Turn Deadly

At least 10,000 acres have been scorched as firefighters desperately battle the flames.
2:34 | 05/16/14

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Transcript for California Wildfires Turn Deadly
But first, this was the scene in southern California. The fires overwhelming an entire hillside. You can see the hot embers flying right into the air. More than 2,600 firefighters now on the front lines, battling 10 unprecedented fires. A lot of memories going up with them. Look at this one home. Total destruction. That appears to be a television still attached to the furnace, to the fireplace. But the only thing left standing. And this is so unbelievable. Look at this, as well. The heat and wind creating this smoke whirl. We have team coverage this morning. Ginger zee and ABC's Cecilia Vega in Escondido, California. So dangerous, George. The heat, the drought, we'll talk about that. At least 24 homes or more have been destroyed, including this one. Including an apartment complex. You can still see the pockets of heat. The smoke billowing out at this hour. And, yes. 100% of California is now in severe or exceptional drought. And that heat, look at these Numbers. Record high temperatures. Santa Maria, having their hottest may temperature ever, inciting these flames. Flames racing across 10,000 acres. Firefighters working to contain at least ten separate blazes. Fire whirls emerging from the parched hillside, while smokenadoes and fires everywhere created close to zero visibility. In San marcos, transformers exploding. There's an explosion. Reporter: In Escondido, a church up in flames. The entire state of California, moderate to exceptional drought. You can see the dry brush and the fire rushing up that hill. Helicopter after helicopter dropping water and trying to save the homes above. At least 125,000 evacuation notices have been issued. Hundreds, forced into shelters. We packed. Do I not pack? Do I run? I never thought we would be people asking for help. I thought we would be the people helping other people. Reporter: The fires already claiming at least one life. Investigators, now urgently trying to determine the cause. We all have suspicions, like the public does, when you have nine fires started all over the county. We are actively investigating the start of those fires. It's already cooler this morning. We can feel it. And it will be even cooler going into the weekend. Look at some of these Numbers, dropping into the 70s and even 60s by next week.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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