Residents allowed to return amid California wildfires

More than 12 fires are still burning amid the deadliest wildfire disaster in the state's history but evacuation orders are being lifted in multiple counties as residents return to see the damage.
2:47 | 10/16/17

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Transcript for Residents allowed to return amid California wildfires
Thank goodness for that. The latest on the California wildfires. There are new signs of relief this morning. Evacuation orders are being lifted for a number of counties and many of the 100,000 California residents forced to evacuate allowed to return after the deadliest wildfire disaster in the history of California. At least 40 people have been killed. More than a dozen active fires still burning and ABC's Clayton Sandell is on the scene in petaluma. Good morning, Clayton. Reporter: Hey, good morning, George. There are more than 11,000 firefighters here working around the clock. They are hoping the current conditions hold so that they can get a hold on one of the worst fire disasters this state has ever seen. This morning a turning point as firefighters make significant progress on two of California's biggest wildfires. But officials say some fires are still raging and full containment could still be a week away. Overall things are feeling optimistic for us. Reporter: Parts of northern California are still engulfed in flame and smoke. Day nine of the deadliest wildfire disaster in California history. 40 people have lost their lives. 5700 homes and businesses destroyed. In San Jose Sunday firefighters battled a wind-driven fire that damaged homes. Firefighters, some traveling from Oregon and Washington, are working on little sleep. Some in these two-person tents. It's physically taxing but it's something we're prepared to do. Reporter: Many residents escaped with only their lives. Her husband is right behind you. Reporter: This sonoma county sheriff's deputy last week helping a disabled woman into his car. Watch your leg. Watch your leg. Reporter: Racing to warn other residents in the middle of the night. Sonoma county sheriff's office. This is a mandatory evacuation order. Reporter: A wall of flames closing in. We're going to Die, dude. We got to get out of here. Reporter: These two forced to drive through an inferno overtaken by embers. The road is on fire. Reporter: Narrowly making it out. Let's keep going. Get out of smoke. Reporter: Some of the tens of thousands of evacuated residents can go back in. Oh, my god. The dining room. Reporter: Many finding only heartbreak. Then the winds came up, it was like a fire tsunami. It was like a fireball. The winds were so fierce, so fierce. Reporter: But still glimmers of hope. An untouched flag found in burned debris. A family returning home. Everything is gone. Reporter: Finding nothing but rubble. Izzy is here. Izzy, come here, baby. Reporter: And one furry survivor. Hey, baby. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. Reporter: So much destruction but this morning one state senator says the damages here have topped more than $3 billion and that number is only expected to go up throughout the week. George, robin. That's true. All right.

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

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