This Is What It's Like To Escape A California Wildfire By Car

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It's absolutely terrifying.

Fast-moving wildfires are once again causing death and destruction in California. Over 100,000 acres of land have been consumed by the Camp Fire and the Northern California town of Paradise has been completely destroyed. This fire is said to be growing at a rate of 80 football fields per minute. Another fire, known as Woolsey, is sweeping through the southern part of the state in Malibu.

As of this writing, 23 people have been confirmed dead and, unfortunately, the death toll and more destruction are expected until firefighters bravely manage to get the fires under control. Meteorologists have predicted the ideal weather conditions for wildfires are expected to continue into this week, unfortunately. But what is it like to escape one of these deadly infernos?

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Escaping by foot is not the best option because, obviously, it’s not fast enough. Vehicles also pose their own risks but they are still the best and fastest way for residents to evacuate with their lives. This Associated Press video was taken by Brynn Chatfield on November 9 of residents fleeing a deadly wildfire in Paradise, California. While the town itself is scorched, some residents managed to capture their vehicular escape on video. Judging by the dashboard, it looks as though the vehicle is a Honda Ridgeline, but the escape itself is, in a word, terrifying.

All around the vehicle is scorched earth. Fire is literally in the air. Flaming branches hit the road. Smoke dramatically reduces visibility. And just when it seems like the Ridgeline and its occupants will never escape the inferno, they suddenly drive right out of it into daylight. It’s both surreal and scary. This specific fire started last Thursday in the Plumas National Forest, north of Sacramento, and quickly spread. More than 6,700 homes and businesses have been destroyed, making this fire the most destructive in California’s history.

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