Erupting wildfires engulfing thousands of acres out West

CALIFORNIA -- In the West at least 60 fires are burning Tuesday night in seven states. So far, 208,000 acres have burned. An army of more than 15,000 firefighters have been deployed.

When the Rocky Fire burning north of San Francisco jumped Highway 20, firefighters lost one of their best containment lines.

"The fire was burning 100 feet in the air," said Bob Jones who saw the flames heading toward his house late Monday night.

He did not evacuate and was right underneath the all out air assault that stopped the fire from advancing.

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Wildfires burn in seven states in the West. CBS News

"You should have saw the bombers yesterday flying so low I thought they were going to drop out of the sky," said Jones.

The Rocky Fire has been a relentless and erratic foe.

"This fire grew by 22,000 acres in five hours," said Cal-Fire's Jay Smith. "The computer simulator said it would take about seven days for that to happen and this fire did it in five."

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Firefighters battle flames in California. CBS News

The fire began six days ago and has grown from a mile and a half in size to more than 100 square miles, the size of San Francisco and Washington D.C. combined.

So far, fighting this fire has cost approximately $14 million just operating each flame retardant dropping DC-10 is $35,000 per hour.

California State Fire Agency has already spent $690 million since the drought began four years ago. And expects to spend another $434 million this fire season alone.

"It's like nothing most of us have ever seen before because our fuels are so dry. The vegetation is so dry," said Fire Captain Steve Kaufman.

The weather has finally given firefighters a break and temperatures have dropped in humidity as well.