California fires still out of control

There are at least 22 wildfires in the state, growing and threatening more homes.
3:40 | 10/11/17

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Transcript for California fires still out of control
And we begin with the fire disaster unfolding in California tonight. At least 22 wildfires are still burning. They are growing. And threatening more homes. A short time ago, the entire city of call stow ga ordered to evacuate. And look at these new images this evening, of the desperate escape from the flames in Santa Rosa. Holmes, cars everything burning along the way out. The destruction so complete, whole neighborhoods turned to ashes. More than 3,500 homes and businesses now gone. Tonight, the death toll is climbing and hundreds of people are still missing. ABC's Matt Gutman leads us off from Santa Rosa tonight. Reporter: Firefighters on the front lines are pushed to the limit. Nearly helpless against their enemy -- the wind. These fires are just literally burning faster than firefighters can run. Reporter: Racing to save others, while their own homes burn. Myself, several of my friends, I understand we have at least seven of us from Santa Rosa fire department, several from Santa Rosa police department, that did lose their homes. Reporter: Since exploding Sunday night, the fires still out of control. Torching 170,000 acres. This new video from the sonoma sheriff showing the terrifying the escape from the flames. And overnight, new evacuation orders in sonoma and napa counties, and anxious moments for this mother. My son, I'm not sure if my son is still there. Reporter: Soon learning he'd gotten out too. 80 people with respiratory issues rushed from this veterans home. By dawn, officials going door to door, telling 2,000 residents of calistoga, in the heart of wine country, to leave immediately. They just came and knocked on the door and let us know it was time to go. Reporter: More than 3,500 structures damaged or destroyed. What you see here is being called an urban assault. That fire melting these mobile homes down to the steel chassises. What so shocked firefighters is that fire storm leapt over this major highway, engulfing other parts of Santa Rosa, and it's those kind of conditions that are expected again tonight. Those winds forecast to gust up to 40 miles an hour. At least 21 dead, a number certain to rise. At that mobile home park -- this officer is cordoning off this area because they just found a body in the rubble. It was Bob Tunis '69-year-old mother. Probably didn't hear people knocking on her door. I don't know. Reporter: Well over 300 still reported missing, and complicating things, the ability to communicate. Those flames claiming at least 73 cell phone towers. Only the hardest of things have survived the heart of that inferno, including the tab of steel in Brady's hands. Your personal dog tags? Yeah. The ones I deployed with. After I deployed, I gave them to my dad. He had them hanging in his man cave. Reporter: It took him two hours of digging to find his most precious possession. You have goose bumps right now. I do. It's crazy. It's mind blowing. So glad he found those tags. And Matt with us live again tonight. There are now reports that downed power lines and exploding transformers are being investigated as one possible cause here for at least some of these fires? Reporter: That's right, David. Pg & E, you can see them behind me reinstalling downed power lines. The company says in a statement that there were equipment issues at the time the fire here started, caused by, quote, hurricane-strength winds, but that's just one possible cause for the 22 fires burning in California right now. David? Matt Gutman leading us off tonight. Matt, thank you.

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

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