Simply put, he said, extremely dry fuel and high wind gusts can result in a wildfire.
Santa Anna winds and extra-low humidity have created the disaster hitting Southern California, Price noted.
He explained that there are "three basic ways a fire can explode into wildfire."
"A crawling fire is the most benign. (It spreads) through low-lying vegetation," he said.
A "crown fire," he continued, burns to the top branches of trees, or crowns, causing it to spread at a much faster pace than on the ground.
"And finally," Price added, "maybe the most dangerous is the jumping, or spotting fire. ... A burning ember can be carried by the wind to a new location.
At the Qualcomm Stadium evacuation center in San Diego, Price said people had to leave their homes quickly, "not knowing the state of their property, of their treasures, and even of their neighbors.
"And ... thousands of people will wake up here wondering what the state of their homes and treasures are.
"This place is filled with baby food and diapers and toys, blankets, and tents, and people no doubt will be here at least through (Wednesday) and maybe into and through the weekend."