‘We’re not the first people to go’: Wildfires scorching California
By STEVE GOLDSMITHThe first responders from California’s National Park Service and firefighters from several other agencies were on the scene Saturday afternoon after wildfires ripped through a small town and killed five people.
It was the first time the National Park Police, Fire Department and other emergency responders have been in the area, and it’s not clear how many firefighters were on duty when the fires broke out.
At about 2 p.m., the National Guard and other agencies responded, and about 15 minutes later, a National Guard helicopter dropped a load of food and water to residents in the town of Santa Cruz.
They were able to put the fires out quickly.
Firefighters from the National Weather Service were on scene at about 5:45 p.t.
Saturday to help contain the fire and evacuate the homes, officials said.
Fire officials are expecting to spend the next day fighting the fire in the mountains north of Santa Rosa.
The Santa Cruz Fire is a category 5 fire that started in the San Francisco Bay area, spread rapidly and now is burning along a major highway.
The National Weather Services forecasted winds of 120 mph and heavy smoke.
Officials said smoke and fire were still pouring from the blaze.
The Santa Cruz fire has burned more than 8,600 acres and is expected to grow to more than 10,500 acres by the end of the week.