ANGELS CAMP, Calif. — Hundreds of people rushing to escape a massive wildfire charging across the tinder-dry Sierra Nevada foothills said Saturday that they had to make wrenching decisions about what to save – pets, loved ones’ ashes – and what to leave to possibly burn.

A blood-red sun pushed through a choking fog of smoke and ash that turned the grassy, tree-studded area 70 miles southeast of Sacramento an eerie white. Away from the burned-out cars and smoldering remains of homes, Annette Stout and other residents who fled the flames rested at evacuation centers.

Stout was ordered from her house Friday, and for the first time since her husband’s death in March, she drove their recreational vehicle to safety in Angels Camp, a quaint town made famous by Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Tale of the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

“I grabbed my cats, their carriers, important papers, my husband death’s certificate and his ashes,” said Stout, who lives in the community of Hathaway Pines.

Despite the outpouring of help at Calaveras County Fairgrounds, she didn’t sleep well.

“We knew we were safe here, but (I was) worrying about the house, worrying about those who didn’t leave,” she said.

The blaze that ignited Wednesday exploded to more than 100 square miles in two daysand has destroyed at least 15 buildings and threatened some 6,400 more.

Meanwhile, another California wildfire threatened to sweep through an ancient grove of Giant Sequoia trees. The grove is named for the towering General Grant tree that stands 268 feet tall. There are dozens of Sequoia groves in the Sierra Nevada, and some trees are 3,000 years old.