Northern Calif. Residents Evacuate As Sand Fire Spreads

The fire just outside Sacramento has already burned 4,000 acres and forced 1,200 residents to evacuate their homes.

Northern Calif. Residents Evacuate As Sand Fire Spreads
The Sacramento Bee / Randall Benton

More than 1,200 Northern California residents have been forced to evacuate hundreds of homes due to a fast-moving wildfire just outside of Sacramento. 

"You feel helpless. What can you do?"

KOVR reports many residents in rural areas are still waiting for the possibility they'll also have to evacuate as the so-called Sand Fire grows. 

KXTV notes residents at about 700 homes have been forced to evacuate since Friday night.

"Winds are gusting up to 18, 20 miles per hour. It's just giving the firefighters a run for their money."

According to The Sacramento Bee, the Sand Fire had burned 1,300 acres by Saturday morning. By the evening, it had charred more than 4,000 acres.

Firefighters say the wind and steep terrain have made the fire difficult to tackle. The state's continuing drought hasn't helped either.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the entire state is in at least a severe drought. More than 80 percent of the state is in an extreme drought. For some perspective, at this time last year, none of California was experiencing an extreme drought.

The heat has been a problem, too. The Sacramento area, where the fire is being fought, is expecting highs to reach at least 100 degrees each day until Thursday. According to The Weather Channel's forecast, there's a 0 percent chance for rain through August 5.

Officials say a vehicle driving on dry vegetation likely started the blaze. So far, the Sand Fire has destroyed five homes and is 20 percent contained.