California wildfire turns deadly, leaves nine dead Photogallery
California wildfire turns deadly, leaves nine dead Photogallery
Wildfires rage across California, killing at least five
10 November, 2018, 18:06
Nine people were declared dead and tens of thousands evacuated Friday as fierce wildfires raged across the western U.S. state of California, with one rapidly spreading blaze threatening the famed resort of Malibu.
As of early Friday, the Camp Fire advanced rapidly to the outskirts of Chico, 144km north of Sacramento, forcing thousands to flee the city after engulfing the nearby town of Paradise, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) officials said at a news conference.
The remains of five of the victims in Northern California were discovered in or near burned out cars, three outside residences and one inside a home, Butte County's Honea said.
Fanned by ferocious Santa Ana winds and fueled by dry tinder, the fires immolated a mountain town and jangled the nerves of many tens of thousands of residents forced to evacuate their homes.
When the order came to evacuate, it was like the entire town of 27,000 residents chose to leave at once, they said.
Some 20,000 people have been ordered to evacuate, according to the Houston Chronicle, and multiple highways in the area have been closed.
About 75,000 homes have been evacuated in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to two fires in the region.
The authorities have issued mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders for Los Angeles's West Hills area.
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"It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us", police officer Mark Bass said.
The Chico Fire Department said: "Firefighters continue to actively engage the fire in order to protect life and property".
Desperate residents fled their homes armed with pets and children to escape the burning flames.
The fire has also reportedly destroyed the set for popular TV series Westworld, with one person tweeting photos of the destruction saying it had "burned to the ground". It has forced evacuations at Naval Air Station Point Mugu and at California State University, Channel Islands, along with several communities near the southern Ventura coastline.
That assessment was echoed by Scott McLean, a spokesperson for CALFIRE, who told the Los Angeles Times that the Camp Fire "has destroyed the town".
The LA County Sheriff's Office said it was receiving "many emergent phone calls" from people who "need our help to evacuate" and urged motorists in the area to be aware of emergency vehicles. A third fire, the Hill Fire, is torching parts of the Santa Rosa Valley, not far from the town where 12 people were killed in a shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill this week. He worked so long in the flames and smoke that he needed to use oxygen Thursday night at his home, but he refused to leave. "I just had to evacuate my home from the fires".
Fire officials said they expected it to burn all the way to the ocean.
Among the celebrity homes reportedly damaged - if not destroyed - was the home of Caitlyn Jenner, who posted an Instagram video reporting that she was in a safe house, but wasn't sure what has become of her home.
On Friday, the flames jumped Highway 101 and headed into coastal areas.
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He blamed the fires - still burning in both Northern and Souther California - on "gross mismanagement of the forests". Miller jumped in her boyfriend's rickety pickup truck, which was low on gas and equipped with a bad transmission.
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