California wildfires turn deadly as tens of thousands evacuate

Oscar Cross
November 10, 2018

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

In Northern California, the Camp Fire advanced rapidly to the outskirts of the city of Chico early on Friday, forcing thousands to flee after it left the nearby town of Paradise in ruins, California fire officials said.

- A wind-driven brush fire in Ventura County quadrupled overnight, scorching 8,000 acres by Friday morning and was zero percent contained, firefighters said.

Paradise resident Whitney Vaughn described the chaotic evacuations on roads lined with burning trees.

A pair of intense wildfires in Ventura County have also led to the evacuation of 105,000 people in Southern California, leading acting Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency there while Gov.

Pepperdine University shut down its Malibu and Calabasas campuses and initiated shelter-in-place protocols as the fire roared southward, sweeping into the Santa Monica mountains.

The Woolsey blaze was also burning in parts of Los Angeles County, where mandatory evacuation orders were given Friday morning south of U.S. Highway 101, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

The Hill Fire started not far from the Thousand Oaks bar where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting.

Heavy smoke and strong winds hampered visibility for crews on the fire lines and residents trying to evacuate fire zones.

Taft High School and Pierce College are open to people in Los Angeles County.

Conditions in Oak Park, just north of Malibu, have been described as "surreal" and "horrific".

Thousands were evacuated, including from schools and hospitals.

A firefighter keeps watch as the wildfire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

The flames are being driven by Southern California's notorious Santa Ana winds, which blow from the northeast toward the coast.

FOX 11 reporter Gina Silva stood by with residents as the fire moved in on their Westlake Village homes.

One fire that broke out near the northeast corner of Los Angeles has roared westward, jumped USA 101 in the Calabasas area and is surging up the Santa Monica Mountains. Thousands evacuated, many abandoned their vehicles and fleeing on foot as flames surrounded major roadways in the area.

The full extent of the destruction is still unknown, but authorities believe up to 1,000 structures have been destroyed - most of those in Paradise, a town of 26,000 people about 85 miles north of Sacramento, a Cal Fire spokesman said.

As of this morning, the Hill Fire had burned 7,000 acres and the Woolsey Fire 10,000.

The singer took to Twitter to say thank you to firefighters and first responders who risk their lives to fight the devastating fires causing damage all over the state.

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