Thousands ordered to evacuate from massive California fire

Multiple fires have scorched more than 46,000 acres near Vacaville, northeast of San Francisco, and dozens of homes have been engulfed by flames.
3:00 | 08/19/20

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Transcript for Thousands ordered to evacuate from massive California fire
schools and the coronavirus. But first, the emergency unfolding right now, the historic lightning siege. The governor of California declaing a state of emergency. This was the scene, driving through the flames near the biggest cluster of fires in the bay area. The flames racing across the hills. Dozens of structures gone. At least 50 families losing their homes. The lightning and searing heat, an awful combination. And we've just learned about a helicopter involved in the firefight that has crashed. Here's Clayton Sandell from the fire zone tonight. Reporter: Tonight, parts of the golden state now a fiery explosion of red, Orange, and thousands ordered to evacuate in darkness. Families racing to escape flames pushed by heat and wind. Up and down this street there's quite a few homes and structures that are burning right now. Reporter: Near vacaville, a city of 100,000 northeast of San Francisco, multiple fires are tearing through communities. More than 46,000 acres scorched. The traffic on fire radios painting a grim picture of injuries and a losing battle. Code three ambulance for burn injuries. Two victims en route. Reporter: These wildfires are moving incredibly fast, turning this entire mobile home park into an apocalyptic wasteland. Many got out with just seconds to spare. It was like the entire wall of the forest was just coming at us down the road. It was so scary. Reporter: How much time did you have? 30 seconds. I looked up and the back of my house was on fire. Reporter: Judy Vollmer and Marcia Ritz and have been neighbors for 13 years. Both their homes are gone. I lost my cats. And really I have no insurance. I have lost everything. Reporter: Now Vollmer's most valuable possession is a very special flower pot, pulled from the ashes. My grandbabies made this for me. That's their handprints. Reporter: The dozens of fires are grouped into what firefighters call complexes. There are now four burning across the state, supercharged by the weather. Over the past 72 hours California has experienced an historic lightning siege. Reporter: And climate change. Stanford researchers say the number of extreme fire days in California has doubled. With so many growing blazes, planes, choppers, and firefighters are stretched thin. We have no more to give on the front lines. An incredible scene. Clayton, the reports of a firefighting helicopter going down, what have you learned tonight? Reporter: That's right, David. We understand it's a private helicopter fighting a blaze near Fresno. It sparked a blaze when it crashed. We're told the pilot did not survive. Clayton, thank you. In the meantime, the democratic national convention

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

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