KERN COUNTY (KFSN) --Officials said the Cedar Fire, which has already burned more than 19,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained, could get much bigger due to the amount of dead standing timber, rough terrain, and extreme weather patterns.
"One part of the day, the winds are causing a threat up in the north part of the fire and in the afternoon," Annaleasa Winter with Cal Fire said. "The winds change direction and cause a threat in the southeast section of the fire."
Sunday night, about 500 firefighters battled the Cedar Fire and moved camp to the Rodeo Grounds in Glennville which allows them to be closer to the fireline so they can get more rest. And it's also where dozens of evacuated residents have spent the past few days.
They're trying to remain calm and optimistic but it's hard when their homes are in danger of burning.
"We're all so frightened, and we're frightened for each one of everybody," evacuee Linda Day said. "We don't want the fire to go this way because then it's going to hurt someone else. We're scared."
"All we could really do is just pack one truckload of stuff and then get out of there," Day added.
The family said they were in the middle of moving when the fire got so close they had to evacuate. They said it's been stressful, especially for their two young girls.
"Finally, my 4-year-old had her meltdown and just could not begin to understand why she couldn't go home," said Sindy Scott, who was evacuated from Posey. "So, we just pray about it and we just try and stay positive all the time. You have to stay positive."
No structures have burned yet Winter said firefighters are focusing their efforts on protecting homes in Woffard Heights on the south side of the fire and Panorama Heights on the north side.
Winter said the Cedar Fire is now the number one ranked fire in the nation.
"That means heavy aircraft, helicopters that fly at night," she said. "Large air tankers to create lines of retardant and then also several type one hand crews, which are the best of the best that can get out there and work in these dangerous conditions."
These are dangerous conditions for battling a wildfire, fueled by five years of drought.
"Just looking in that forest, you can see all the dead trees and it's sad," said Leslie Boshears-Gribben, who was evacuated from Panorama Heights. "We knew it was coming, we knew that we had a big threat of it."