Though firefighters are slowly making progress on California's Blue Cut Fire, the massive inferno is burning with an intensity beyond anything that veteran firefighters have ever seen.
"In my 40 years of fighting fire, I've never seen fire behavior so extreme," Incident Commander Mike Wakoski told the Associated Press.
The blaze, which ignited Tuesday morning in the hills above San Bernadino, had exploded to more than 40 square miles on Thursday morning amid extremely dry and breezy conditions.
"It hit hard. It hit fast. It hit with an intensity that we hadn't seen before," San Bernardino County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig told the AP. "There will be a lot of families that come home to nothing."
Sheriff's deputies went door to door both Tuesday and Wednesday asking more than 82,000 residents from nearly 35,000 homes to leave areas under threat. Firefighters concentrated their efforts on saving homes in the mountain communities of Lytle Creek, Wrightwood and Phelan, where many residents stayed despite the warnings.
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