TEHAMA COUNTY (CBS13) – The Ponderosa Fire has destroyed 50 homes, charred 38 square miles and nearly torched a CBS13 reporter on Wednesday.

CBS13’s Ben Sosenko was at the Paynes Creek community in Tehama County, a focal point during Day 5 of the fire fight.

fire fight CBS13 Reporter Gets Up Close To Flames From Ponderosa Fire

CBS13’s Ben Sosenko reports on the Ponderosa Fire in Tehama County on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (credit: CBS13)

What seemed like a safe distance from fire became treacherous in seconds.

Cal Fire interrupted an interview as things quickly took a turn for the worse.

“I need you guys to back up,” the fire official told Sosenko.

The fire took a run up the canyon. “It’s getting closer. You can feel the heat on your face,” Sosenko said as he ran from the flames.

One family in Mineral is sticking it out so far.

“This is the worst we’ve seen of the smoke,” Craig Young said. “We’re going to hold on tight.”

He hasn’t evacuated yet, but he knows if he does he’ll have only a few minutes to leave.

“Our feeling is if we have to leave, we’ll take our personal belongings, our most important things, and leave everything else” he said.

Cal Fire says people living here should be prepared – at anytime everything could go up in flames.

Our CBS13 crew saw it up close and personal on Wednesday.


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