Just 90 miles east of Los Angeles, some 1,500 residents have already been forced to flee due to an angry wildfire that has consumed trees, cars, and homes lying in its path. Encouraged by the dry air of the rugged mountainous region, the fire has only grown in speed and size since erupting mid-afternoon Wednesday.
An army of responders — including one thousand firefighters, 13 helicopters, and six air tankers — continue to battle the blaze, which has so far defied their efforts. "Unfortunately, the size of this fire continues to take away from any progress that we're making," a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told the Associated Press.
Here are four terrifying, up-close photos of the monstrous blaze.
A photographer stops shooting and tries in vain to help save a burning home with the spray of a garden hose. (REUTERS/Gene Blevins)
Firefighters spray water near a burning house in the Twin Pines Road area near Banning, Calif., on Aug. 7. Within hours of erupting, the fire had blackened more than 5,000 acres. (REUTERS/David McNew)
A car is entirely engulfed in flames late Wednesday night. At least two firefighters and one civilian have been injured. (REUTERS/Gene Blevins)
Wind-blown embers fly from an ancient oak tree on Wednesday night. (REUTERS/David McNew)