Last Updated Sep 17, 2015 4:54 PM EDT
LAKE COUNTY, Calif. -- Searchers are looking for victims north of San Francisco where more than 109 square miles have burned since Saturday.
On Wednesday, cadaver dogs were brought into the Lake County disaster zone to search for bodies. Authorities tell CBS News, at least four people are unaccounted for and feared dead -- including former San Jose Mercury Newspaper reporter Leonard Neft.
"It moved so fast that in several cases there were people who couldn't beat it -- just couldn't beat it out," said Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin.
Telephone lines and emergency communication systems have been burned. There is no water or power. Animals are left to roam helplessly.
This is the worst disaster this county has ever seen, one official says. State officials said Wednesday they were in the burn area surveying the damage.
"This is equivalent by size and scale to any major hurricane that would have hit the East Coast," said Mark Ghilarducci, the governor's top emergency manager.
In the Anderson Spring neighborhood there is nothing left. The Dugan family lost their home, just six months after the children lost their mother to cancer.
Grandmother Marsha Conns said there is no insurance on the home where the kids lived. She said she doesn't know what to do next.
"We don't know," she said. "....We don't what we can do."
Seven-year-old Griffin, who can't grasp the gravity of the situation, won't let go of his Teddy bear.
Such innocence in the face of disaster.
On Wednesday evening, rain and cooler temperatures are providing some relief for firefighters, but it's expected to be hot and dry again tomorrow.