VACAVILLE (CBS13) — People on the edge of Vacaville were being evacuated Wednesday as the LNU Lightning Complex Fire exploded in size.
Police and firefighters have been going door to door in a frantic scramble, warning neighbors as the flames encroach further into the city limits.
“All of a sudden the fire was upon us,” said Vacaville Fire Chief, Kris Concepcion.
He shared a video from the front lines before as the uncontrollable fire started to take over neighborhoods.
“That all of a sudden came up, and was shot 40 feet high,” he said.
It’s something he hasn’t seen first-hand in 29 years of service. The fire was so great, it prompted almost 4,500 Vacaville homes to evacuate ahead of more winds expected early evening Wednesday.
“You’re really kind of at the mercy of the wind,” said Concepcion. “We’ve got so many homes evacuated that even seem like they’re in the middle of the city.”
Dna Hoover and his wife Joan are waiting to see if they’ll be evacuated. They watched the flames and the smoke from the backyard of their home.
“It seemed like super apocalyptic as far as the density of smoke,” said Hoover.
They’re afraid and not used to seeing their urban home in a fire zone.
“There were like saucer-sized pieces of ash coming down,” he said.
They hope the wooden addition, and their home itself, survives the fire.
Joan Jusell said, “I don’t want this to burn down. Dna has already broken his back, it’s like what else bad can happen?”
They say their whole neighborhood, mostly older homes, is at risk. Down the street, Ricky Brownwood hoses thick ash off his car. He hasn’t seen ash or flames this close since 1964.
He said, “‘That’s mother nature, you can’t stop her, you gotta watch out for her.”
Chief Concepcion says it’s a perfect storm of high temperatures, humidity and the potential for high winds that could knock this fire into downtown.