Watch terrifying video of tourist family driving through Southern California wildfire.

Watch Terrifying Video of Tourist Family Driving Through Southern California Wildfire

Watch Terrifying Video of Tourist Family Driving Through Southern California Wildfire

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Dec. 27 2015 3:49 PM

Watch Terrifying Video of Tourist Family Driving Through Southern California Wildfire

A Dutch family visiting California captured dramatic video when they suddenly found themselves eerily close to the Solimar fire in Ventura Country on Christmas night. The family was driving from Los Angeles and thought the blaze was far enough so they didn't worry, but all of a sudden they found themselves a bit too close for comfort to the fire as embers landed on their windshield.

“We didn't realize it was this big and frightening,” Maaike Maks told CNN. “There was nobody stopping us on the highway as we got closer and closer, so we thought it was totally safe for us to drive past it.” She decided to turn on the camera. "Then all of the sudden, all these sparks and a burning bush hit our car, and we couldn't see anything of what was around us because of all the smoke,” she said. “I was terrified and in a total shock. In the end, it only took a few seconds, but it felt like an hour.”

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The brush fire that was caused by arcing power lines and quickly grew to engulf more than 1,200 acres was around 70 percent contained on Sunday, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.