California's Battle Against Sweeping Wildfires

New Video of effort to fight flames as tankers roar overhead.
3:22 | 05/17/14

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Transcript for California's Battle Against Sweeping Wildfires
We begin on the front lines of California's battle against those sweeping wildfires. Six still raging this Saturday. The damage mounting tonight. More than 25,000 acres burned. A huge stretch of San Diego county looking much like this tonight. This hillside in carlsbad scorched Earth in every direction. The fires put out with help from marine helicopters filling giant buckets with water from the ocean. Some homes spared just feet from where the fire burned. We get into what might have made the difference from some families. And we hear from the people who were inside this car, escaping as we showed you last night here. What they witnessed as they tried to get out, and why a sudden shift in the weather could now help. We begin with ABC's bazi kanani on the front line tonight. Reporter: Flames raging as thousands of firefighters worked to beat them back, six of at least nine wildfires still not under control in San Diego county. These drivers took this video from inside their car in carlsbad. Oh, my god! Reporter: Flames and smoke sweeping over homes just next to them. I was on the driver's side. The heat was incredible. Reporter: This dc-10 tanker dropping loads of retardant to smother flames. In this neighborhood a stark contrast. Here a homeowner who had good clearance around the home, sprinklers and succulents or a type of moist vegetation on the ground and then over here, right next door, a homeowner who didn't. The entire home destroyed. Tonight more residents are allowed to return home as firefighters get the upper hand. Too late for families like the gilmores now digging through the ash and rubble for memories. Adam, a high school senior, recovered one of few mementos from his childhood. His parents collected all their memories of their lives here now lost. There's a lot of sentimental things that we lost but those things can't be replaced. Reporter: The gilmores among many whose homes are destroyed or damaged. 25,000 acres charred, one person dead, an unusually early start to the fire season. So far California firefighters responding to almost 1,500 wildfires, nearly double of that of an average year. One possible cause of the fires this week? Arson. Three people arrested so far. Even though conditions have improved out here today, it is still dry and gusty and officials say the fire danger is still high. David? Bazi kanani, thank you. As she points out the fire danger still high. We all took note of this image, the smokey haze obscuring the Los Angeles skyline 24 hours ago. The good news tonight, that haze now lifting as we head through this weekend. I want to bring in WABC meteorologist Jeff smith, and you were telling me there's a reason why this is beginning to clear. The wind direction is going to make all the difference in the world now coming off the cooler waters of the pacific so it's a cooler day as we head into tomorrow from ocean side to San Diego. Also much more humid so that will lessen the risk of new fires and help firefighters. Greater humidity helps them fight the fire. In the meantime, in the midwest record temperatures but that's not lasting long. Some cases we were below freezing. By tomorrow we're going to be more than double these temperatures in some cases. 73 Kansas City, 68 in Lexington, Kentucky. Jeff smith, our thanks to you and WABC.

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

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