New California wildfire forces more evacuations

A new wildfire in the West is forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people, reports CBS News correspondent Carter Evans.

The Summit Fire is burning about 100 miles east of Los Angeles in the Big Bear Resort and is only 30 percent contained.

That fast-moving fire in Southern California led to a quick mobilization of forces. While air tankers dropped fire retardant from the air, officials urged everyone in the area to evacuate.

As many as 500 homes are in the fire's path.

It is one of more than 65 major wildfires in seven western states.

In Washington, new details emerged about the deaths of the three Forest Service firefighters near Twisp. Their truck was involved in an accident and found near this hillside.

"The engine was upright and burned over with three deceased U.S. Forest Service firefighters inside," Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor Mike Williams said.

Officials believe the accident may have prevented the firefighters from escaping when the fast moving flames turned on them. A fourth firefighter who was injured, Daniel Lyon, had been in the truck with the three men, but somehow managed to walk away. He is currently in intensive care with burns on more than 60 percent of his body.

Authorities: “No idea” how many homes destroyed in Western wildfire chaos

"There were no witnesses to the event to the truck leaving the road except Daniel who is currently unable to talk," U.S. Forest Service's John Phipps, who is leading the agency's investigation, said.

Rick Wheeler was among the firefighters killed. His widow says he paid his way through school fighting fires in the summer.

"He had that ability to think quickly on his feet. I feel like he was not afraid of anything," Celeste Wheeler said.

Andrew Zajac also lost his life. His widow, surrounded by family members, released a video with a message for his fellow fire fighters.

"And please, everybody come home. Because that's all we really want; is everybody home," Jennifer Zajac said.

With 12 large fires in Washington, resources have been stretched to the breaking point. They're so scarce that the state is taking the unprecedented effort of training civilian volunteers to serve in support roles fighting the state's fires. More than 200 homes in the state have been destroyed.