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SAN FRANCISCO (CBSMiami) – Fast-moving wildfires are threatening more than 14-thousand homes and other buildings in Northern California.

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The so-called “Mendocino complex” fires are burning in rugged terrain about 90 miles north of San Francisco and moving quickly enough to threaten highly-populated towns nearby.

“The vegetation is thick there. If there’s a fire that comes into an area like this, you can’t put personnel in here. The aircraft, the helicopters that are working this fire, that is the best approach to fight a fire like this,” said Will Powers with Cal Fire.

Firefighters are trying to protect homes as best they can. When fire threatens, they lay down hoses and build fire lines to try and protect to structures.

In the last two days, many families have had to pack up twice after the first shelter they went to had to be evacuated on Monday.

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“I didn’t think it was going to be like that. I thought we were just going to go and stay,” said Lavonne Moore.

Not everyone, however, is complying with the mandatory evacuation orders. Juan Soria plans to stay put despite seeing his neighbor’s field catch fire.

When told his life could be in danger, Soria replied “If my life is in jeopardy, I’m not going to risk it for material things. But as long as I can defend it, I will. This is all I got, this is all I got.”

About two thousand firefighting personnel are battling the “Mendocino complex” fires near the City of Lakeport. The flames have burned more than 107 square miles, an area larger than Sacramento.

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In total, there are now 17 large fires burning across California which have killed eight people.