"It was the scariest experience of my life,” KRCR-TV anchor Tamara Damante told Inside Edition. “Never in a million years did we think we'd be evacuated, as a news station."
She said on-air that "it is unsafe to be here" as she was getting ready to evacuate.
Damante said flames were only a mile away when they were ordered to get out.
"We could tell this fire was just out of control, it was inching closer and closer to the station. Our [general manager] came in and asked the meteorologist what the conditions looked like and everybody decided the safest thing to do was to evacuate the station," she said.
She fled the city of Redding and drove to a hotel south of the wildfire.
When she spoke to Inside Edition Friday morning, she was still wearing the same clothes she wore on the set.
"My husband and I grabbed the essentials... the important stuff," she said, holding her dog. "[We] just feel so very lucky that we're safe and together."
Thousands of residents were also forced to flee their homes. Bumper-to-bumper traffic jammed the highways. One man posted a video on Instagram saying, "Everyone's running red lights.”
"This is like nothing I have ever experienced in my entire life,” Damante added.
Two fatalities have been confirmed: a contracted dozer operator and a Redding firefighter.