San Diego Firefighters Getting Control of Wildfires

Families start to return home to find the damage caused by the recent fires.
3:59 | 05/18/14

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Transcript for San Diego Firefighters Getting Control of Wildfires
Check out these images from the front lines. This is why these fires have been called hell on Earth. This picture out of Escondido. Look at this picture. A family returning to their home. And this is why people are stressing people stay away from the fires. A photo journalist got a load of fire retardant, to stop the flames, dropped on him from a dc super tanker. Bazi kanani reports this morning. Good morning to you. Reporter: Good morning, Dan. Firefighters are making good progress. And officials expect all evacuation orders will be lifted later today. Many families returning to their neighborhoods to find out how close the flames got to their home. And some, like the owners of this home, finding nothing left. The fight in San Diego county. This morning, firefighters are still working to contain four of the ten wildfires tearing through the county since Tuesday. This new one erupting Saturday. Three of the fires are burning on camp Pendleton. Marines there, joining the aerial assault on the flames. Some of them, just back from a different fight in Afghanistan. More than 1,000 firefighters called in. 25,000 acres scorched. One dead. And already, nearly $20 million in damage. This driver, learning how quickly the wildfires are moving when the flames fly up the hillside, over homes and nearly right up to his wheels. Oh, my gosh. Reporter: What's left for many families is priceless. We used to have two, giant pillars that supported the house. Reporter: The Gilmore family in carlsbad, now digging to salvage memories, just hours before his senior prom, 18-year-old Adam recovered one of the few remaining momentoes of his childhood. One of the few things was a woody little toy here. It's pretty much burnt Toal crisp. Reporter: These inmate crews are working together to get control of the wildfires. Cooler temperatures and calmer winds are allowing them to get the upper hand. But it's not enough to reduce the fire danger here and across the state. Two-thirds of California in extreme drought after another winter and spring with almost no rain. Fire officials are pleading with residents to think about fire prevention. Saying it doesn't take much in conditions like these to start a major fire. They say the first fire here was started by sparks from a construction vehicle. Bazi, thank you. Homeowners are beginning to return to the ashes. Heartbreaking scenes as they pick through the rubble, trying to salvage anything they can and summon the strength to rebuild their homes and lives. We were there as bob and Sophie Payne returned to what was once their dream house. Welcome to our home. It was our dream house. You know? We put all our souls into it. It had a sprinkler system. But it got so hot, the sprinkler system didn't do any good. The plants, you can see they're dead. The kitchen with a big nook. The stool's still standing kind of. Last Saturday, we had my daughter's wedding reception here. My family has some pictures because all of ours got burned up. We did our crying the fst night or two. And now, it's time to go on with our lives. You don't sleep. And you don't sleep. You think about people. You think about your house. And you think it's a bad dream. No, no, no, no. It could never happen to me. You know, I think this might be part of the gears of the clock. I'm so sad. It always could be worse. There's always somebody in worse -- Situations. Yeah. Predicaments and situations. Just keep smiling. That's it. And our best to them, as they move forward here. And you can continue to get coverage of the southern California fires all day long on our website,

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