Thousands flee California wildfires as new warnings are issued

ABC News' Matt Gutman shows the devastation in Santa Rosa, California, where many homes were destroyed.
7:57 | 10/11/17

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Transcript for Thousands flee California wildfires as new warnings are issued
Hey folks I'm not gotten with ABC news them in Santa Rosa California. A city population a 175000. People and obviously so many people have lost their homes here. This is the coffee park neighborhood. And basically every direction you look you see this utter devastation entire neighborhoods. Reduced to these moons tapes of ashes. The fires are still marching this morning we just heard from the firefighters you can see. And that hot spot right behind that smoke is rising they're trying to put that out these things can burn for weeks at a time but we just heard from then. And there are fires still moving right now all over. This area in Sonoma County a Napa county as well. There are thousands of people or have been ordered to evacuate this morning. Those are mandatory evacuations and overnight he could see the maps on Google and weighs just completely read so many people. Just trying to get out. Everybody is very aware of the danger that these fires pose how quickly they can move you can see the evidence right here in that is your in the minds of so many. You know I think you talk about is how hot these fires burned night I saw something. That it pretty much just honestly this is a stone and just. Just completely. Broken apart. It by. By the fire and you can imagine the kind of keep it actually split a stone just like that it's frighteningly impressive now. You walk across these neighborhoods. And it's very dispiriting because you see the remnants of people's lives pots and pans and refrigerators and cabinets. Melted garage doors. And one of the sites that we've become so accustomed to unfortunately of course the hos of cars people couldn't get out of here fast enough that couldn't take. All of their vehicles with and so so many. Just abandoned their cars and I want. The cameraman can. To show you something business that are around his show you that light pole up there but that's a hard shot against our body. That's what the fire storm did the wins came through here so quickly in the heat was so intense that it literally. Blew up parts of houses flinging them into the air we've seen cars. That were tossed. Dozens of yards flipped over we're talking old school you know Ford fair lanes the way to tons that's how powerful these storms work. A firefighters continue to battle these places across northern California there are seventeen major wildfires going on right now. And you can see from the air and the ground doing everything they can but folks here are stretched so thin. That is state of California is actually asked for reinforcements. They just can't handle which up to those firefighters again you're and you can see that hot spot now but. On the other side over there and. They've basically been going since Monday he'd been on the line that long. Just trying to get a handle these fires and even putting out these hot spots and that's the thing. If the wind kicks up and there's a hot spot like that over there. It can trigger another fire. I guess. The one positive of of being where we are right now is that. There's not much they can't catch fire any more put. With a driving around for the past couple of days and everywhere you look you get a sense of how dry it is now. One of the things that has exacerbated the wildfires this season is actually the rain over the winter it was a wet winter. But that meant that there was a lot of underbrush that grew. Not underbrush over the summer got dry. And now that is just prime fuel for fires that are exploding all around us this is peak fire seasons. It's not unusual to have a number of major fires going right now but what is so one usual. Is that this fire tore through communities. Santa rose Napa all over Sonoma county and that's something that. Is what. It is forcing officials here to call it basically the most destructive wildfires in California history. The death toll right now stands at seventeen people. Officials tell me that that is likely to rise because. There are still a 180 people reported missing they expect most of them to be found but not all of them because. There's too much destruction here just overnight another body was found here in coffee park. Again very difficult for firefighters and rescuers and they have been strapped and working so hard for so many days the exhaustion. That you see on people's face is here it is just so indicative of how hard they have been working but also the conditions that they are under. Very tough here. And again everywhere you look this is what people fear that self find when they come home after they evacuate communities entirely obliterated. By. Cease fire storms now a couple of uplifting moments that we've had over the past couple of days. Yesterday we came across a fire sorry. A veteran his aim was Brady horrible. And you've just been in his parents' home he grew up there that there for 31 years you know everybody's neighbor whose. Erie to have him describe the fact you know. I didn't Jimmy and Tom and he knew everybody around him in the fact that their houses were now all gone everything he knew everything that he had been accustomed to. Simply turning to ashe's but. He felt the dog tags that he had been deployed within 2013 to Iraq and he kind of knew where to look for them any went for it. And he found in this just tiny sliver of steel and that is the only thing. That he managed to salvage from a lifetime of memories and memorabilia that there the family had collected in that house and. It's so. Surprising to see somebody being able to find anything in in the mess these here but also so uplifting. And also sap had that that was the only thing that this family managed to salvage. Another woman. Chris pond we met her yesterday she was digging through the rubble. With her bare hands they were. She'd been wearing these gloves have been burned through her shoes had melted off completely and she was hysterical because she was just going through this stuff and on able to find. Virtual Lou Reed but mostly. Her wedding ring she'd been married for 26 were eight years. It was a diamond ring that her husband gave her she wanted to give it to her daughter who's 23. And we just got a FaceBook message from her telling us that she founded. So you know even amidst the destruction. A few slivers of hope and good news coming out of it but again. Very concerning for folks here that the fires. Are kicking up around this area. And that those are going to be fed it by increasing winds and dry air temperatures humidity here is gonna drop to about. 10% that is very very dangerous high low humidity. And high winds equal fire weather and the red flag warnings are going up today so. Firefighters a DN on alert they're probably getting reinforcements from across the state and also from the US Forest Service from Nevada. That is going to help in the fight but it is going to be a long flight here. And people think the what's the fire is out it's out but no. They're going to be battling these blazes for weeks possibly even months that's how big. Of a farce fire area that we're talking about so far at least twice the size of a Washington DC possibly almost three times at this point. So tremendous amount of work to be done for the folks here. Again I've not gotten an I'm and Santa Rosa California. And in the coffee park neighborhood that has been completely decimated by these fires. Hoping the best for everybody who lost their home in for people who are looking for loved ones. Amidst all this destruction. That got that ABC news hope to see you soon.

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

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