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High Winds and Heat Cause Wildfires to Rage in the West

Firefighters battle to save homes and neighborhoods in Southern California.
2:38 | 05/02/13

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Transcript for High Winds and Heat Cause Wildfires to Rage in the West
Good evening. We begin with live pictures of wildfires so fast and furious, they have turned parts of california into a tinderbox. On the ground, mothers rush their children past the school yard as the fire descends. Firefighters straining against those powerful winds on the front lines. Listen to what they're hearing. you can see that tree snapped like a matchstick. Let's go straight to abc's david wright who brings us the latest from southern california right now. Reporter: An inferno in paradise. Midway between malibu and santa barbara, firefighters go door to door, fighting a ground war. Water! Reporter: A losing battle, as 50 mile an hour winds sweep through dry brush. Right here. Blowing embers all over the place. Reporter: The blaze has grown more than 6,000 acres just today. Hundreds of homes and a college campus have been evacuated. Firefighters are telling others, gather important documents, medications, and irreplaceable items and be prepared to leave. Akiko fujita is up near the fire line. You can see back there, just how dry the conditions are. That combined with strong winds have created the perfect storm for a fire like this. We've seen these blazes travel more than five miles in just two hours. And firefighters say it's headed straight for the ocean. Reporter: Those winds sent her running. And it isn't just the people fleeing, foxes, raccoon and deer are running for their lives. Normally these hot desert winds come end of summer, early fall. But this year, they're here a good four or five months early. This used to be the master bathroom. Reporter: Jleaner lost everything. Today his childhood home, a sooty mess. Glad you survived. The pictures. Reporter: Yet somehow he managed to maintain his smile. Even though it's been burnt and everything, it's still beautiful to me. Reporter: This is your home? Yes, it's my home. Always going to be my home. Reporter: An early and a scary start to fire season. It's been a dramatic start to the fire season, to be sure, but the fire departments say they are ready for this. There's been so little rainfall this winter that they have staffed up, and they're hoping they can keep the upper hand even when they're facing flames and winds like this.

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