Thousands Flee as Winds Fuel Explosion in California Wildfires

Erratic winds spread blaze overnight, residents anxiously await evacuation from homes.
1:27 | 06/02/13

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Transcript for Thousands Flee as Winds Fuel Explosion in California Wildfires
More than 1,000 homes evacuated, forced out by a raging wildfire. Some of those homes burning to the ground tonight. It's one of several fires in two states now being fueled by monstrous winds. Abc's clayton sandell is on the front lines tonight. Reporter: The powerhouse fire is powering through steep mountains. A nightmare of flame that overnight bore down on the small community of lake hughes, north of los angeles, destroying at least six homes. Erratic winds making for a fire on steroids. From about 5,000 acres on saturday, to 20,000 acres this morning. About 1,000 homes still evacuated. Today, an army of more than 2,000 firefighters marched to the front lines, trying to get the upper hand on the blaze that's only 20% contained. A thick plume of smoke could be seen all over southern california. We have to get out in front of the fire and slow down and stop it as quick as we can. Reporter: In new mexico, crews are still battling fires, keeping about 200 homes evacuated. The blaze has come at a time the forest service says it will hire 500 fewer firefighters nationwide this year, thanks to budget cuts. Now, how worried are you about the rest of the fire season? Very worried. I think it's going to be a long, drawn-out fire season. And I think we'll be challenged on every incident we have. Reporter: You can see what makes this fire so hard to fight. It's burning in steep, rocky canyons that makes it very dangerous for firefighters. Even though some homes were lost in this area, about 1,000 others were saved.

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

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