California authorities are sharing a frightening wildfire video on social media to emphasize the importance of obeying evacuation orders.
On Monday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Headquarters tweeted the intense video, which was recorded by Rebecca Hackett, who was attempting to escape the Woolsey Fire in Southern California.
“This very graphic video shows the dangers of a fast-moving fire and how important it is to leave affected areas after fire officials declare an evacuation order,” the tweet reads. Hackett later said, “The fire came so quickly. One minute it was calm and then suddenly they were on top of us,” according to the tweet.
In the video, Hackett can be heard crying, “Oh my god,” as she drives through the windy roads of Malibu and desperately begs God to keep her safe and make it out alive. Within a minute, the flames — which are first seen from a distance — quickly engulf the road ahead of her.
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The screen then changes from a normal dark road to nothing but blazing orange, as Hackett records the disastrous scene of flaming debris and sparks aggressively hitting her windshield.
Thankfully, Hackett made it out alive but it wasn’t something she expected. “I thought I was going to die,” she said.
As of Wednesday morning, the Woolsey Fire, which is affecting residents in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, and has decimated homes of many Southern California residents, had burned 97,620 acres and was 47 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.
More than 8,000 firefighters are working to extinguish the fires, and about 150,000 people were urged to evacuate. At least 180 structures were leveled by fire.
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Miley Cyrus, Gerard Butler, Neil Young, and Robin Thicke were among several stars in Southern California who lost their homes from the blaze.
Meanwhile, in Northern California, Camp Fire — which broke out on Thursday — has burned through 135,000 acres by Wednesday, according to CalFire. It has killed 42 people alone and left several homes and other structures destroyed. By Monday, it was only 35 percent contained.
Together, the three massive wildfires in Northern and Southern California have claimed at least 44 lives so far, making it the deadliest wildland fire in the state’s history, the Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea announced on Monday night.
“This is truly a tragedy that all Californians can understand and respond to,” Gov. Jerry Brown said during a press briefing on Monday. “It’s a time to pull together and work through these tragedies.”
To help victims of the California wildfires, visit the American Red Cross, the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation and the California Fire Foundation for more information.
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