California Forest Fires: 250,000 flee monsters that devastate the state

California Forest Fires: 250,000 flee monsters that devastate the state

A house is burning during the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 in Malibu, Californiaimage rights
AFP

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The Woolsey Fire raced west into coastal communities, including Malibu

At least nine people have died in the most destructive forest fires ripped through northern and southern California.

More than 250,000 people were forced to leave their homes to avoid three major fires in the state.

Firefighters were powerless to stop a wildfire that destroyed the northern city of Paradise, where 35 people are missing.

A wild wildfire drew on Friday in the southern beach town of Malibu – home to many Hollywood stars -.

The cities under evacuation orders include Thousand Oaks, where an armed man killed 12 people on a rampage on Wednesday.

The authorities say that the campfire in the north and the Woolsey fire and hillfire in the south are being blown by strong winds and dry forests.

"The extent of the fire's destruction is unbelievable and heartbreaking," said Mark Ghilarducci of the California Governor's office.

President Trump responded by blaming what he called the gross mismanagement of the forests and warned against funding cuts.

Meteorologists have warned that dangerous conditions could last until next week.

Where is the Woolsey Fire?

The blaze started Thursday near Thousand Oaks, some 64 kilometers northwest of the center of Los Angeles. Another flame, the Hill Fire, began around the same time, also near Thousand Oaks.

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media labeling"How much can this city endure?" – Deadly forest fires hit Thousand Oaks, where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting

On Friday, the flames jumped onto Highway 101 and headed for coastal areas. The fire now has an area of ​​about 14,000 hectares.

"The fire is now burning out of control and moving to populated areas of Malibu," the city government said in a statement.

"All residents must evacuate immediately."

Many celebrities live in Malibu and nearby Calabasas, and some have posted on social media.

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Reuters

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Aerial views show Malibu fires racing towards deserted houses

On Twitter, reality TV star Kim Kardashian said The house she shared with rapper Kanye West had been hit by the flames,

"I'm trying to break away from this fire … we're all safe and that's all that matters."

The singer Cher, who appears in Las Vegas, tweeted that she was worried about her home in Malibu.

Singer Lady Gaga said she evacuated her home in Malibu and posted a video on Instagram with dark smoke on it.

The Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro tweeted that he had been evacuated and left his collection "Fantasy House" with fantasy and horror memorabilia.

The fire has reportedly destroyed one of the devices for the Westworld television series.

Where is the campfire?

The 20,000 acre fire north of Sacramento began on Thursday in Plumas National Park and quickly devoured the city of Paradise.

More than 6,700 homes and businesses were destroyed and the residents fled for their lives. The flames went so fast that some had to park their cars and had to flee on foot from the city.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said in a press conference Friday that the remains of five victims were found in or near burned-out cars. Three more were found outside houses and one in a house.

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media labelingThe campfire was fueled by strong winds and dry forest

He said another 35 people were missing and three firemen were injured.

"This event was the worst case," he said. "It was the event we were afraid of for a long time."

Rescuers pushed car-parked cars out of the way to reach a hospital and evacuate patients as the fire flooded the building, said Butte County supervisor Doug Teeter.

"There is nothing left," said Scott Maclean, the state forestry and fire safety spokesman.

Drive through flames walls

At the BBC James Cook, Paradise in California

Paradise is hell. A smoldering sepia world in ruins. The air is sharp. Burning chemicals leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

It is scary and terrible to walk in the ashes of people's lives. There is deep sadness here. We pass a charred swing of a child, a dirt-filled swimming pool, and the worst is a dog that has not survived.

The intensity of the flame was so great that much of the debris is hard to see. Slices of ash drift down like giant snowflakes and suffocate the sound.

But it is not completely quiet here. A sooty squirrel crawls a blackened tree in panic. There are booms and creaks of burning trees and telegraph poles.

And soon, from ruin to ruin, those with the heaviest job will hear from everyone if anyone has been left behind.

Firefighters also issued evacuation notices for parts of Chico, a city of 93,000 people north of Sacramento.

The three fires are among 16 currently active fires in California. Officials have placed most of Northern California under a red flag alert, meaning that "extreme fire behavior" can occur within 24 hours.

The region has been hit by severe forest fires in recent years, including the worst in the history of the state – the Mendocino fire in 2018.


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