LASSEN COUNTY (CBS13) – Crews are racing to put out the Beckwourth Complex Fire in Northern California as it tears through small communities and rural ranches.
Sacramento Metro Fire told CBS13 that personnel from their agency, in addition to Sacramento, Cosumnes and Roseville Fire Departments and engines from Cal OES, have been up at the Beckwourth Complex Fire since Wednesday.READ MORE: 'It Meant The World To Me': Oakdale Officer Thanks Citizens Who Helped Him After Hit-And-Run
“And there’s just this incredible roar and heat and dark, brown-orange sky,” Craig Philpott, an independent wildfire photographer, said.
The fire has charred through tens of thousands of acres, and Philpott captured it all through his camera lenses.
He saw the challenges that crews are facing when it comes to moving resources through the fire.
“Little town of Doyle, California yesterday, no fire hydrants in the entire town, dependent on tanks being hauled in with water to feed the firetrucks. And they could not keep up with what was blowing through their little town,” Philpott said.
The Doyle Fire Protection District said that about 20 homes were lost in the flames.
“It was just too much. I didn’t have no water, nothing. I was pouring beer on it,” Phil Burgarello, who lost his home in the fire, said.
Burgarello fears for his precious pups that were inside at the time.READ MORE: Could Mask Mandates Drive Business To Surrounding Counties Who Don't Have One?
“Three dogs. Four dogs, I’m sorry. I think they’re gone. I couldn’t get them out. The smoke was there so I think they’re gone,” Burgarello said.
Buildings weren’t out of harm’s way.
“And spot fires had come in and lit one building on fire. Before the equipment arrived to put everything out, four buildings were gone,” Burgarello said.
Seeing the devastation of wildfires like this is all too familiar to Philpott. Memories of being evacuated from last year’s fires in Napa County come to mind. His family found out their home was saved, but he did see his son’s school was burnt to the ground.
“It generates emotions that you don’t process at the time. You deal with them later,” Philpott said.
He says that it doesn’t feel like the damage of the Paradise Fire at this time due to its location and the fuel that’s there. But it could feel that way for those in these communities he’s seen in the middle of this blaze.
“But for an individual rancher that loses a ranch, it’s exactly the same thing. It just doesn’t hit the news cycle like Paradise where so many people have lost the same thing,” Philpott said.MORE NEWS: Kaiser Permanente Sued By Federal Government Over Alleged Medicare Fraud
U.S. Forest Services’ last update had the Beckwourth Complex Fire at 20 percent containment with a little more than 86,000 acres burnt.