Transcript for More than 500 wildfires raging in California, 6 dead
The state of emergency at this hour in California after the historic lightning siege we reported on that sparked hundreds of wildfires. Those fires still burning tonight it will death toll now growing. At least six people have now been killed. Fires spaeding across the bone-dry landscape. More than 100,000 people forced to evacuate statewide. Firefighters stretched too thin. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed. ABC's Clayton Sandell on the fire lines again tonight. Reporter: Tonight, hundreds of wildfires are raging in California. 12,000 firefighters in a desperate battle they can't seem to win. Some of these fires were allowed to smoulder because, frankly, we didn't have the resources to get out there and put eyes on them. Reporter: The fires killing at least six people. More than 500 structures destroyed, thousands more threatened. Jessica Adams and her children fleeing with no time to spare. We literally ran out with, like, no shoes. I remember my older daughter said, mommy, she's like, I don't even have shoes on. Reporter: Flames charred 1,200 square miles, roughly the size of Rhode Island. More than 100,000 people are evacuated. We want you to leave when you've been ordered to evacuate. Reporter: But some are ignoring that, and with a shortage of firefighting resources, some civilians forming amateur fire brigades, armed with their own hoses and chainsaws desperately trying to save neighbors' homes. Johnny white believes residents are on their own. His bulldozers today were busy cutting fire breaks. The rednecks are taking control. Step aside. We'll get 'er done. Reporter: Officials say they appreciate the desire to help but discourage do-it-yourself firefighting. Their life is more important than their property or anything else within that area. Reporter: David, the big concern on this fire in sonoma county is as the winds pick up, so do the flames. We are in a very dense forest. These trees are hundreds of feet tall and there's concern going into the weekend about more thunderstorms with more lightning, and that's how this thing started. We'll be tracking it into the weekend with you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.