I'm one of the fortunate ones who hasn't been required to evacuate my home here in Southern California. I live in San Bernardino County, where several blazing fires have been causing devastation the past couple days. Last night when getting home from work, I was surprised to see a handful of people with cameras around their necks standing in the driveway of my complex and staring at something off in the distance. I glanced over my shoulder and was shocked to see tall orange flames very clearly. After parking, I walked back over to investigate, taking our digital camera and analog video camera with me. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the fire was actually quite far away, and the still camera couldn't zoom in far enough to take a good shot, although I got some good footage on my video camera. It turns out that the fire was in Running Springs, roughly 10 miles away. I found a good map (courtesy of this article) that shows how close the fire is. I live near the "R" in Redlands, near the bottom-right corner of the map below:
For up-to-date information on the fires in San Bernardino County, see this page on sbcounty.gov or search Google News.