Over 150,000 evacuees, thousands fleeing

California still burns, from North to South. And the flames are developing at an impressive speed, fed by strong winds and devouring land as big as a football field per second, tell witnesses and rescuers

Firefighter in action at Woolsey, Malibu, California (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)


The death toll of the devastating fires in California rises to at least nine, with the front of the flames continuing to advance in three areas from north to south. Almost 7 thousand homes destroyed and over 150 thousand people evacuated.

To be besieged by fire is in particular the renowned Malibu that faces south on the Pacific Ocean and where there are the villas of many VIPs. The nearby Pepperdine university campus was also evacuated. While on the alert there are also some areas north of Los Angeles.

But the worst situation has so far been recorded in the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento, 27 thousand inhabitants, which was completely destroyed. A ghostly hood of smoke also looms over the San Francisco Bay, making the air unbearable in some areas due to the fall of the ashes.

In all, there are three fronts advancing inexorably, with hundreds of firefighters and civil protection men trying desperately to block the fury of the flames, also favored by vegetation made drier than ordinary because of drought.

The damage caused by the fires is already enormous, amounting to tens of thousands of drugs, and are added to those caused by the numerous fires in recent months that have brought to the knees a good part of the California economy, including the Napa Valley famous for the its vineyards and its wine cellars.

Thousands of homes and business structures have been destroyed, and the fire is likely to erase entire naturalistic paradises. The scenes on local TV show people fleeing and panicking, even though many people, surrounded by fire, do not know where to go, among burning palm trees and cars going ash.

In many areas relief efforts have not yet arrived because of the difficulty of reaching them, and residents spontaneously abandon their homes and cars by fleeing on foot. Many blocked roads, including some main arteries of the state.

Countless alarms launched via Facebook and other social media, especially from those who have remained isolated in the inner regions and ask for help.


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