TODAY   |  May 03, 2013

Thousands in Calif. wildfire’s path evacuated

As firefighters struggle to contain blazes in southern Calif. that continues to flare despite cool temperatures overnight, thousands in communities along the fire’s path have been evacuated from their homes. NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> first the wildfire season in california is off to an early start. the springs fire threatening 2,000 homes.

>> i was in los angeles you stand at lax and look to the west the entire horizon is a wall of smoke so it's a big deal . the heat and high winds have made it tough along the fire line. nbc's ayman is in camarillo, california .

>> reporter: this mountaintop was bright red a few minutes ago, it is now crisp black. you can see the charred smoke behind me. it gives you a sense of what firefighters have been battling all night long. the front lines of the springs fire were visible for miles as flames ranlgd engulfing buildings, it flared all night despite cool temperatures overnight. late thursday officials evacuated thousands from communities in the fire's path, some like dave and cheryl novak tried to hold out before abandoning their long time home.

>> we've lived in fire areas and seen lots of fires but this was the scariest

>> reporter: across california six fires have burned in the past two days, hundreds of firemen have been battling flames making progress and fighting 60-mile-per-hour winds to captain the so-called summit fire but in camarillo progress was far less certain.

>> which are not going to call it caught until we have a good line around it and the line can hold the conditions that are presenting at the time.

>> reporter: here in california , fire season has come early, with record high temperatures, low humidity, and dry tree cover. conditions are already ripe for fires fueled by santa ana winds blowing from the east. officials are sounding the alarms.

>> this is a wake-up call for everybody in california to be prepared.

>> reporter: on our way in here we drove past several police evacuating thousands of homes in the area. you could see the bright red blaze from the fire as firefighters contain or try to contain the front line . so far they've only contained about 10% of it. they're fighting it well into the day and as you mentioned earlier as the sunlight comes up, dry weather and stronger winds could make this a much worse day for firefighters who are battling fires across southern california for at least two days. savannah?