This is a drive straight into hell.
A harrowing video emerged Tuesday showing what firefighters are dealing with as they battle the largest wildfire currently burning in California, one that’s menacing the state’s wine country and threatening to explode with the return of powerful winds.
The Kincade Fire, which began late Wednesday near Geyserville, Calif., had grown to 74,324 acres by Monday evening and was only 15 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. The blaze has so far destroyed 123 structures, 57 of which are residential homes. About 90,000 structures remain threatened by the fire, according to Cal Fire Division Chief Jonathan Cox.
“We’re playing both offense and defense right now on two different sides of the fire, and we’re going to have to flip-flop that tomorrow when that wind event comes through,” Cox said at a Monday night news conference.
Video from San Francisco firefighters posted to Twitter early Tuesday showed the conditions firefighters are facing as they respond to the flames. The video, taken at 3 a.m. Monday, shows the crew heading straight into the fire down a dark, narrow road.
As the fire crew makes its way along the road against a burning hillside, they drive through clouds of smoke that make the yellow center lines hard to see as embers frequently strike their windshield.
“We appreciate their complete dedication to the task of protecting lives and property,” San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 tweeted.
The fire crew eventually makes its way down the remote road as flames dance on either side of them.
Cal Fire said that additional evacuation warnings were in effect on the eastern side of Sonoma County and the west side of Lake County due to the blaze, ahead of another wind event expected to begin on Tuesday morning.
Winds are forecast reach 20 to 30 mph before peaking Tuesday night with gusts up to 50 mph, and Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. said its latest blackout will start early Tuesday and affect 605,000 customers – about 1.5 million people – in 29 Northern California counties.
The announcement came even before the last blackout had ended, which shut power to more than…
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