Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

California wildfires: Fears of further damage as winds strengthen

Kim Kardashian West among celebs afraid their homes were destroyed in wildfire With California's Raging Fires, Fear And Devastation
Herman Weaver | 12 November, 2018, 10:57

Aircraft swooped low over flaming hills to drop lines of fire retardant as flames marched through brush lands on the edges of cul-de-sac communities. But the strong, dry Santa Ana winds that blow from the interior toward the coast returned after a one-day lull, fanning the flames.

Three major fires are now raging in California, with the Camp Fire hitting its north, and the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire hitting its south.

Roger Kelly, 69, who defied orders and hiked back into Seminole Springs, estimated 90 of its approximately 220 homes were destroyed.

Celebrities whose coastal homes were damaged or destroyed in a Southern California wildfire or were forced to flee from the flames expressed sympathy and solidarity with less-famous people hurt worse by the state's deadly blazes, and gave their gratitude to firefighters who kept them safe.

On Sunday, officials confirmed that two deaths in Malibu were related to the Woolsey Fire, bringing the death toll to 25. The deaths remained under investigation.

Progress was made on the lines of smaller fire to the west in Ventura County, which was 70 percent contained at about 7 square miles (18 square kilometers), and evacuations were greatly reduced.

They are just the latest celebrities to be hit by the massive fire which has engulfed at least 700,000 acres and many structures since it started on Thursday.

In Paradise, a town founded in the 1800s, residents who stayed behind to try to save their properties or who managed to return despite an evacuation order found incinerated cars and homes.

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Camille Grammer Meyer, of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, also lost her Malibu home entirely on Saturday night (local time), her publicist, Howard Bragman, said.

Butler, 48, said in an Instagram video on Sunday (Nov 11) that his home was "half-gone" amid footage of smoke rising from the debris, which included the burnt shell of a auto. "It wouldn't surprise me" if it turns out that winds caused equipment failure that sparked a fire, he said.

The flames also stretched into the suburb of Thousand Oaks, a city of 130,000 people that just a few days ago saw 12 people killed in a mass shooting at a country music bar.

Hundreds of Texas firefighters and support personnel are being deployed to help fight the deadly wildfires now devastating California, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday. "We appreciate your work and could not be more grateful".

The Republican president has previously blamed California officials for fires and threatened to withhold funding, saying the state should do more to remove rotten trees and other debris that fuel blazes.

"We knew Paradise was a prime target for forest fire over the years", he said.

But fire officials say fire behavior has changed statewide after years of drought and record summer heat that have left vegetation extremely crisp and dry. She previously said her heart was with others facing "this terrible disaster". "There was so much burning and so much black". Councilman Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner was injured while trying to save his home, which burned down, Councilman Skylar Peak told reporters Sunday. And it burned everything.

"We are in this for the long haul", Pimlott said.

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