On Friday afternoon, the Rabbit fire erupted in Moreno Valley, prompting evacuation warnings and orders as flames moved over the grassy hillsides.
It was one of multiple wildfires that started in the region that day amid a recent heat wave.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the fire had burned more than 8,000 acres and more than 1,500 fire personnel had been assigned to the blaze.
The Rabbit fire’s spread was captured in stunning clarity by AlertCalifornia cameras.
AlertCalifornia, a wildfire-focused public safety program launched in May by UC San Diego, collects data on natural disasters. The program has more than 1,000 wildfire-monitoring cameras across the state to study how fires start and spread and to provide real-time data.
Each camera system has multiple camera angles for each monitored area and can view as far as 60 miles during the day and 120 miles on a clear night.
Some new cameras are equipped with sensors that can identify hot spots and flareups even in smoky and hazy conditions.