(KTVU) “It’s unnbelievable, devastating,” said Kelley Wagner, standing with husband Nick, just outside the evacuation zone, watching the hills glow orange at dusk.

“We haven’t seen anything like this in the North State and we’ve lived here our whole lives,” said Nick, “never any fire this close to town, it just doesn’t happen.”

Thursday night, it did happen. A fire that had already scorched Redding’s outskirts, came roaring into the city, torching neighborhoods with embers that were blowing miles ahead in strong, swirling winds. “It can be described as a tornado,” said Ken Pimlott, Director of CalFire, speaking at a late-afteroon briefing.