Nightly News | August 22, 2012
>>> in northern california tonight, more than 2,000 firefighters are working a dangerous, unpredictable fire that started this past weekend. some of them, along with our own correspondent miguel almaguer, found themselves in the path of monstrous flames today when the edge of the fire made a fast run right at them, at the worst possible time. miguel reports tonight from the fire line.
>> reporter: exploding across foreland, moving toward homes, northern california 's ponderosa fire blew up this afternoon.
>> coming hot and hard.
>> reporter: firefighters scrambled, 50 structures have been destroyed. 240 more threatened. with help from a steady air attack and aggressive push on the ground, crews have contained half this blaze. but flairups forced firefighters to retreat. breeding on dry forest land for five days now, this fire continues to make runs. crews are worried the next one will be into a neighborhood. this afternoon the mountain town of mineral was placed under voluntary evacuation. at this christian campground, most of the 200 people are seniors.
>> if you do have to leave, we want you to be able to do it and get out safely.
>> reporter: dangerous and deadly, this wildfire season is also historic. in new mexico, the largest in state history. in colorado, the most destructive. twelve firefighters have died this season. the west under siege, a fire season for the record books. miguel almaguer, nbc news, california.