(WJBK) - One metro Detroit native is back home and sharing a first-hand account of the infernos burning California.
Southern California still on high alert and the wildfires are still spreading fast. They're burning out of control and destroying everything in their path. Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate, leaving their homes and bracing for the worst as they wait till it's safe to return.
"My throat, you can hear it. it's a little scratchy and it's been this way since - I think the fires started on Tuesday," Lisa Goich said.
Sitting in a cafe in Detroit, Lisa isn't taking fresh air in Michigan for granted. Her voice is scratchy from inhaling the smoke in her California neighborhood. The Detroit native lives in Los Angeles and has for more than 20 years. It was a smooth ride until last Tuesday, when she woke up smelling smoke.
"Smells like our house is on fire you know that's how bad it was," she said. "It smelled like there was a bonfire inside my bedroom. That's how strong it was and that's through walls, no doors are open-nothing."
Six large wildfires have burned more than 160,000 acres in California so far. One blaze known as the Sylmar Fire is just a few miles away from where Lisa lives.
"And the winds were so bad the winds were at 70 mph in our neighborhood so it was blowing all of that smoke into our neighborhood," she said. "At this point we didn't even know there was a fire so close to our home. we thought it was the fire closer to Ventura."
Lisa, who was traveling for work had to get to the airport to come to Detroit. The trip, was eerie. One side of the traffic was filled with fire, while the other side empty.
"The entire north side of the freeway was on fire - it looks like a movie set. It doesn't even look like it's humanly real," she said.
Goich is heading back to Los Angeles this weekend - a city that's changed, and transformed by the very weather that's usually a blessing. It's sunny most of the time and the temperatures are warm, but it's that dryness that's fueled the fires.
Michigan is a breath of fresh air. Literally.
"And again my throat is still ... I've been here for two days and still this is my throat from the fires," she said.
There are six wildfires raging in that part of California and 5,700 firefighters are working to put it out.