LAKE COUNTY, CA – Powerful cellphone video shot by a driver trying to outrun a California wildfire shows the state's latest natural disaster from a terrifying perspective.
Fire has scorched more than 50,000 acres of the drought-stricken state, leaving four firefighters injured and destroying homes and property.
With the sky a deep, smoky red, the man is alone on the road as he passes fully-engulfed trees and homes on both sides. One downed tree or telephone pole blocking his way could have been disastrous.
He is mostly quiet, only coughing occasionally from the smoke and swearing quietly while observing the damage.
The video was uploaded by a YouTube user named "mulletFive" and was shot in the rural community called "Anderson Springs" Lake County. The video's uploader commented that "we did wait way too long to get out."
"We are the last house at the very back of the Springs, down in a gulch," he continued. "There was no smoke or ash coming our way, and there were no sirens or air support nearby, so we honestly didn't know how close (the fire) was."
He told KTLA he didn't see firefighters and theorized their resources were stretched too thin to respond.
"In retrospect, we should have gone out for a drive to find out what was going on, but we were a little preoccupied with packing," the resident added.
"I am in the Bay Area waiting for the roads to reopen," he told KTLA Sunday evening, "and as soon as they do I will shoot video driving around the Springs and post it ASAP."