World

California wildfire roars to life, forces thousands to flee

California wildfire roars to life, forces thousands to flee

Law enforcement authorities in northern California said Friday that five people have died in a wildfire, one of three in the state that have leveled thousands of homes and forced widespread evacuations.

Thousand Oaks already was reeling from a gunman's slaughter of a dozen people at a local bar only days earlier when it found itself under siege from the fire, which raged on both sides of the city and shut down part of the main freeway into town.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said the victims were located in the town of Paradise, whose 26,000 residents were told to flee the fire's path on Thursday.

More than 250,000 have been evacuated across the state of California, which is now battling three wildfires, fanned by strong winds.

The Camp Fire's most significant growth happened Thursday afternoon, when it grew 10,000 acres in about 90 minutes, more than one football field per second, according to CNN.

Malibu officials initially said the order applied to the entire city but have now defined an area that is approximately the western two-thirds of the community.

A Southern California wildfire continues to burn homes as it runs toward the sea.

He said another 35 people were missing and three firefighters had been injured.

"I heard the flames have hit our property at our home in Hidden Hills but now are more contained and have stopped at the moment".




In Southern California, winds that drove the flames through bone-dry hills and canyons near Los Angeles were expected to die down until Sunday, before building again to 35 miles per hour with even higher gusts, forecasters predicted. A list compiled by a local news affiliate reports a growing number of missing people after almost the entire town of Paradise, population roughly 30,000, has been destroyed.

The Woolsey fire began in Thousand Oaks in Ventura County and moved west toward the Pacific coast and is now burning in Malibu.

Calabasas and Malibu are home to numerous celebrities and some have been posting on social media, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian. An Instagram photo she made shows plumes of thick smoke heading towards her estate.

"Just landed back home and had one hour to pack up and evacuate our home".

"The town is devastated, everything is destroyed", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott Maclean.

Some 250,000 residents in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have been evacuated with firefighters still unable to contain the blaze. "My home is in jeopardy but. everything with a heartbeat is safe", she said. Evacuation orders were issued for residents of the beachside community of Malibu.

The fire in Paradise was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area.

The responding fire agencies from Ventura and Los Angeles Counties also consulted independent hazardous materials coordinators who agreed with the conclusion that toxic material from the site was unlikely to have been spread due to the fire.


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