The Latest: Calming winds may help in SoCal firefight

The Latest: Calming winds may help in SoCal firefight

LOS ANGELES – The Latest on California's wildfires (all times local):

9:20 p.m .:

A Southern California wildfire continues to burn homes as it runs towards the sea. But winds that drove the ferocious flames have eased.

Forecasters say the 50-mph gusts will not return until Sunday, and hard-pressed firefighters hope to use that respite to make progress in holding the spread of flames.

Even so, TV reports show homes, palm trees and even power poles erupting in flames.

The Woolsey fire and smaller Hill blaze have more than 150 homes and prompt evacuation orders for about 250,000 people from Thousand Oaks northwest of Los Angeles to the celebrity enclave of Malibu.

There's no word on what sparked the fires Thursday. But winds are blamed for pushing the fire through scenic canyon communities and ridgetop homes.

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7:10 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company says it will cooperate with any investigations stemming from a massive wildfire in Northern California.

The utility told state regulators Thursday that it was experiencing a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the blaze minutes before the fire broke out. The company said it was later to become a transmission tower on the line.

PG & E spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo said Friday the information has not been determined.

The fire has killed at least nine people and destroyed more than 6,000 homes. 30,000 people in the town of Paradise, about 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

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7:05 p.m.

Someone forced to flee a growing inferno at Southern California.

No one has had harder than Eva Loeffler (AY-vuh LEFF-lur), who has 20 years old pony, Minnie.

Loeffler, of Westlake Village, says frantic equestrians were loading horses into trailers as embers rained down and she could not get a lift for the little equine, so she improvised.

Minnie trotted alongside Loeffler's car on a rope for a mile as a flames jumped the road, sirens wailed from passing rescuers and helicopters buzzed overhead.

Eventually a couple with four dogs, three horses, two parrots and a pig stopped in their trailer.

Loeffler says they're squeaking in a vacuum.

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6:30 p.m.

A Northern California sheriff just said it was a wildfire what found inside a home.

Butte County Sheriff Korey Honea said: "Three people were found outside homes and four people inside vehicles. He said another victim was found near a vehicle but outside it.

All the victims were found in the town of Paradise, which was evacuated as a result of the fire.

Authorities say they are conducting numerous resumes Friday, March 30, 2009, with the help of helicopters to rescue five people in the nearby community of Magalia.

The sheriff says they have taken 35 reports of missing people.

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6:20 p.m.

Authorities say nine people have been dead in a Northern California wildfire.

Butte County Sheriff Korey Honea said Friday that some people were inside their cars and others outside their homes. One victim was found near a vehicle but outside of it.

He says he does not have all the details of the circumstances of the deaths.

Sheriff's officials earlier reported six deaths.

Authorities say the fire burning around the town of Paradise has become the state's most destructive since record keeping started.

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This item has been clarified to one person.

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6:15 p.m.

Ventura County and Los Angeles County fire officials say they have a wildfire in Northern California has more than 6,500 structures and grown to 140 square miles (362 square kilometers).

Fire officials said 6,453 homes and another 260 commercial structures. The fire is burning around the town of Paradise.

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5:50 p.m.

The mayor of Thousand Oaks says the three-quarters of his city are under fire.

Mayor Andy Fox spoke Friday about the back-to-back crises his city faced when a wildfire threatened the city the day after a gunman killed 12 people at a country music bar.

Fox says the distinction between the two events is the victims of the Borderline Bar and Grill.

So far, he says, no one has died from the fire that has burned into the city.

Fox says that the fire is serious, but that homes can not be rebuilt.

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5:30 p.m.

Fire officials say Southern California wildfires have burned 150 homes and that wants to rise.

Authorities also announced The wind-whipped flames rage through scenic areas west of Los Angeles and burn toward the sea.

At a news conference, officials said 75 percent of the Ventura County city of Thousand Oaks has been emptied. The entire celebrity enclave of Malibu is therefore under evacuation orders.

Twin fires erupted Thursday and were pushed through 60 mph through coastal foothills and canyons.

The Hill fire has burned down to 6,000 acres and is not advancing, but the Woolsey fire a few miles away doubled in size to 35,000 acres.

Los Angeles County Chief Fire Chief Daryl Osby says winds are dying down but wants to roar back to life on Sunday.

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4:55 p.m.

A sheriff's spokeswoman has confirmed a sixth death in a Northern California wildfire that has forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Butte County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Megan McMann said Friday they did not detail the circumstances of the death.

Sheriff's officials said they were dead in vehicles in the same area in the town of Paradise.

They said the five could not immediately be identified because of the burns they suffered.

Paradise is 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

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4:40 p.m.

California has been given federal funds to battle devastating wildfires that have destroyed entire neighborhoods and killed at least five people.

President Trump has been issued in Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

The money will help pay for firefighting aircraft along with shelter, supplies and transportation for the tens of thousands of evacuated residents.

The wind-whipped fires have destroyed homes in the Northern California town of Paradise, where five people have died.

Other fires in Southern California have destroyed many homes and thousands of others.

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4:30 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announces a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of a massive fire in Northern California.

The company said in a one-paragraph summary filed Thursday with state utility regulators that it had experienced outage on the line about 15 minutes before the fire started. The company said it was later to become a transmission tower on the line near the town of Paradise.

The fire has killed at least five people and destroyed hundreds of homes. Paradise is 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

The filing was first reported by KQED News.

Fire officials have not determined a cause for the blaze.

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4:15 p.m.

Paradise town council member Melissa Schuster Lost Her 16-acre Chapelle de l'Artiste retreat, a posh property with a chapel, pond and pool.

But Friday she was clinging to glimmer of hope inspired by two furry llamas – Shyann and Twinkle Star Heart.

"Somehow they made it through," Schuster said.

She was stopped trying to catch the animals and fled the home and property with just three cats on Thursday.

On Friday she was trying to stay positive. She'd heard about son's home and hay barn survived, along with Town Hall and even some parts of the hospital.

"It's Paradise," she said. "It's been paradise and we want to bring it back."

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3:45 p.m.

Blocks and blocks of homes and businesses in a Northern California town have been destroyed by a wildfire.

Parts of the Town of Paradise were still on fire on Friday. At least five people died in the town.

Patrick Knuthson, a fourth-generation resident of Paradise, said only two of roughly 22 houses survived on his street. Knuthson stayed behind and was able to save his home.

He said he lost his previous home to a wildfire in 2008.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said about 20 deputies have lost their homes.

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2:30 p.m.

A surgical nurse who was evacuated from a Northern California hospital with a wildfire roaring nearby.

Nichole Jolly said she helped evacuate patients Thursday from Adventist Health's Feather River Hospital at the town of Paradise, where at least five people died.

When she tried to leave, she got stuck in the firestorm.

She said firefighters extinguished her smoldering pants, covered in a fire blanket and brought back to the hospital, where she waited out the fire.

She said doctors extinguished burning trees around the hospital.

Jolly eventually escaped the town.

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1:20 p.m.

Nurses and patients have recovered from a hospital in a Northern California town that was devastated by a ferocious wildfire.

Nurse Darrel Wilken told the Chico Enterprise Record on Friday that the Fire in the Town of Paradise came so soon that he and other employees at the Adventist Health Feather River Hospital used their own cars to evacuate patients.

Wilken said he had three patients in his car and two of them were in critical condition. He says he battled gridlocked traffic on a road on both sides by fire.

Paradise resident Cody Knowles said to his wife, Francine, what having gallbladder surgery Thursday morning.

When the evacuation was announced, she was silent asleep from anesthesia. He waited until she was escaped in a hospital employee's car.

The hospital says it has evacuated 60 patients to other facilities.

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1:10 p.m.

A road into a Northern California town devastated by wildfire is eerily deserted.

There were no signs of life Friday evening on the road to the town of Paradise except for the occasional chirping of a bird. A thick, yellow haze from the wildfire in the air and gave the appearance of twilight in the middle of the day.

Strong winds had blown the black needles on some evergreens straight to one side. A burned out car with its doors open sat on the shoulder.

Paradise from the fire, and sheriff's officials say they are investigating additional reports of fatalities. Thousands of buildings were destroyed.

The town of 27,000 about 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco was completely evacuated.

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1 p.m.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has been tweeted that Southern California's huge wildfire has apparently destroyed the TV and movie production location known as "Western Town" at the historic Paramount Ranch.

Old West facades are believed to have burned on Friday.

The park service says the ranch serves as locations for productions ranging from 1938's "The Adventures of Marco Polo" to TV's "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, "The Mentalist" and "Weeds."

Western Town specifically built for TV productions in the 1950s and what used to be westerns as "The Cisco Kid" and "Dick Powell's Zane Gray Theater."

The location set in the mountains west of Los Angeles dates to 1927 when Paramount Pictures leased the ranch and began making films there.

Filming continued for decades even as the ranch changed hands. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1980 but it continues to function as a filming location.

When not in use for filming, visitors could stroll through Western Town while hiking or riding through on horseback.

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12:10 p.m.

A Northern California sheriff said the authorities are trying to confirm that more than five people died when they devastated the town of Paradise.

Friday butte County Sheriff Korey Honea told television stations KHSL / KNVN in Chico that additional reports of deaths are being investigated.

Honea said flames and downed power lines in paradise.

The five victims were found in vehicles in the same area of ​​the town, where residents described traffic jams and panic as they tried to escape flames on Thursday.

Thousands of buildings were destroyed in Paradise, about 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

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11:35 a.m.

Malibu has been reinstated as one of California's major wildfires bears on the enclave called home by many Hollywood stars.

A city-wide evacuation was ordered early Friday and then was scaled back.

But it has been extended to Malibu, a city of about 13,000 stretching along 21 miles (34 kilometers) of coast west of Los Angeles.

Traffic is jammed on Pacific Coast Highway.

Some residents have Zuma Beach.

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11:25 a.m.

A Northern California University has closed its campus and canceled weekend events because of a fast-burning wildfire.

But officials with California State University, Chico posted on Twitter Friday that the campus is not under construction.

Chico city limits and is moving away.

Chico has a population of about 93,000 people and is 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of the town of Paradise, which has killed at least five people.

Paradise is 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco and drifting smoke from the fire has made it unhealthy in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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11:20 a.m.

Jessica Van Amber searched Northern California wildfire.

Magalia, Van Amber posted on Twitter: "UPDATE: MY MOM HAS BEEN FOUND !!!!!!"

Van Amber unrelated to the Friday morning to reunite with relatives in the San Francisco Bay area.

She said she was staying in the car overnight. Early Friday, they drove out of town and made contact with relatives.

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11:15 a.m.

Sheriff's officials in Northern California say the five people found dead in vehicles torched by a wildfire's flames could not immediately be identified because of the burns they suffered.

The Butte County Sheriffs Office said Friday that autopsies will be conducted.

Officials of the Victims were in the same area in the town of Paradise, near a main thoroughfare heading out of the town that was consumed by flames.

All of the city's 27,000 citizens were ordered to evacuate on Thursday as the wildfire quickly turned into an inferno.

Many residents said they were fled, some abandoning their cars to try to escape on foot.

The fire has grown to nearly 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

Paradise is 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

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11 a.m.

Northern California officials say investigators found five people dead in vehicles that were torched by the flames of a ferocious wildfire.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said Friday the victims were found in the same area in the town of Paradise.

The fire has grown to nearly 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

Paradise is 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

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10:20 a.m.

A California National Guard Official Says 100 Military Police are headed to Northern California to help evacuate people from a wildfire.

Maj. Gen. David baldwin says i'm looking at the scope of the damage and map the fire.

The ferocious fire near the Northern California town of Paradise has grown to nearly 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

Paradise is 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

Smoke from the fire has made it unhealthy in the San Francisco Bay area.

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10:10 a.m.

Fire officials say they are due to a raging Southern California wildfire are expected to reach about 148,000 and structural losses are expected to be significant.

The so-called Woolsey Fire burning west of Los Angeles has surpassed 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) Friday morning and is continuing to grow.

Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Dave Richardson said 45,000 people in Ventura County and 43,000 more in Los Angeles were ordered to evacuate overnight.

Richardson estimates another 60,000 people will likely have to evacuate because of the fire jumped. 101 early Friday and is pushing towards the coast.

He says the fire's forced firefighters focus on life-protection rather than saving structures and he expects that.

Another fire to the west has burned more than 9 square miles (23 square kilometers) in Ventura County but has slowed since reaching the footprint of a fire stripped away vegetation in 2013.

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10 a.m.

A California fire official says six major fires are burning around the state, and ascribed three of them as "critical."

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott said Friday firefighters are focused on saving lives and are still rescuing people from fires.

The fire near the Northern California town of Paradise has grown to nearly 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

Another fire northwest of Los Angeles has been swept southward towards the ocean by strong Santa Ana winds.

Evacuation orders were issued for the residents of the beachside community of Malibu.

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9:55 a.m.

A New Hampshire woman is looking forward to hearing about her 83-year-old mother, who lives in the California town of Magalia near the devastated town of Paradise.

Diane Forsman says Jean Forsman can not walk and is on oxygen.

She says: "We're trying to stay hopeful until we get word. We do not know what the outcome will be. "

She and her brother posted on Facebook and Twitter Thursday if anyone had seen their mother. They tried calling 911 and other numbers. They were told that 300 to 400 welfare checks to do.

Finally they got word through Facebook. It's their mom.

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9:40 a.m.

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services says they have 157,000 people from their homes.

Mark Ghilarducci provided the figure at a news briefing on Friday.

Fires are burning in Northern and Southern California.

The fire near the Northern California town of Paradise has grown to nearly 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

Another fire northwest of Los Angeles has been swept southward towards the ocean by strong Santa Ana winds. Evacuation orders were issued for the residents of the beachside community of Malibu

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9:30 a.m.

The director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services says a fire in Northern California has claimed lives.

Mark Ghilarducci said Friday the number of deaths was not known. He said there are injuries.

He says the destruction is unbelievable and heartbreaking.

The fire near the town of Paradise has grown to nearly 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

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9:15 a.m.

Some people who escaped a roaring wildfire in northern California spent the night at a church in the nearby city of Chico.

Residents of the Town of Paradise Harvesting Tales Friday, March 30, 2009 at 4:45 pm Friday, September 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm they were stuck in terrifying gridlock.

They say it's like the entire town of 27,000 people decide to leave at once.

Fire and the others panicked, some crashing and others abandoning their vehicles to try their luck on foot.

Many of the rural residents have propane tanks on their property and the tanks were exploding.

Resident Karen Auday says "they were going off like bombs."

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8:45 a.m.

Authorities have issued a report on unhealthy air quality alert for parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Officials say the thousands of structures in the town of Paradise, 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, have been destroyed by the blaze that has 110 square miles (285 square kilometers). At least 40,000 people have been displaced.

The air in San Francisco Friday is hazy and the smell of smoke is overwhelming, prompting officials to declare air quality unhealthy.

They are advising older people and children to move in on physical activities indoors.

All people are encouraged to stop their outdoor activities.

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8:25 a.m.

The city of Malibu has reduced the scope of a mandatory evacuation order for the beachside community as a wildfire approaches.

Malibu officials initially said that they would have to give their order to the entire city.

The fire erupted Thursday northwest of Los Angeles and has been swept southward towards the ocean by strong Santa Ana winds.

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8:20 a.m.

A fire official says a northern California wildfire has put 15,000 homes and 2,000 commercial buildings at "imminent danger of burning."

Capt. Koby Johns of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Friday that about 2,000 buildings have already been destroyed. He described those numbers as "very elastic."

Friday afternoon, which could give firefighters an opportunity to start containing it.

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7:50 a.m.

A California fire official says in Northern California nearly quadrupled in size overnight.

Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the fire near the town of Paradise has grown to nearly 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

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7:25 a.m.

A raging Southern California wildfire has triggered a mandatory evacuation order for the entire city of Malibu.

The fire broke out Thursday northwest of Los Angeles and roared southward, jumping the U.S. 101 freeway early friday and sweeping into the santa monica mountains.

Malibu has about 13,000 residents and 21 miles (34 kilometers) of coast at the southern foot of the mountain range.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweets the fire is headed to the ocean, punctuating the message with the declaration: "Imminent threat!"

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7:15 a.m.

Sierra Nevada foothill communities to leave their homes.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office has ordered to be ordered to stay in Stirling City and Inskip, north of Paradise, where thousands of homes were destroyed.

Cal Fire Capt. Bill Murphy says winds have calmed down in the valley but that are "shifting, erratic winds" with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kph) along ridge tops.

The blaze that started Thursday morning east of Paradise and decimated the town so spread to the west.

It reached the edge of Chico, a city of 90,000 people Thursday night. Murphy says firefighters were able to stop the fire at the edge of the city, where evacuation orders remain in place.

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7 a.m.

Wildfires raging west of Los Angeles have forced school closures.

Pepperdine University has canceled classes Friday at its Malibu and Calabasas campuses. The Calabasas campus is also evacuated.

Malibu public schools are also closed.

To the west of Ventura County, Moorpark College is closed due to fire and Wednesday night's deadly mass shooting in nearby Thousand Oaks.

California Lutheran University had already canceled Friday classes due to the shooting. Cal Lutheran says his Thousand Oaks campus is under construction.

The Thousand Oaks-area Conejo Valley Unified School District also has closed all its schools.

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6:30 a.m.

Two wildfires raging west of Los Angeles have force thousands of people to leave their homes.

The Los Angeles and Ventura County fire departments say they have been destroyed or damaged.

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

Both fires erupted Thursday afternoon and have grown rapidly.

One fire that broke out near the northeastern corner of Los Angeles has roared westward, jumped. 101 in the Calabasas area and is surging up the Santa Monica Mountains.

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6:15 a.m.

Evacuations have been destroyed in the northern California city of Chico, which is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from a town where thousands of buildings were destroyed by a fast-moving wildfire.

Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says he has devastated the town of Paradise on the eastern side of Chico, a city of about 90,000 people.

Authorities have said that at least two firefighters and multiple residents were injured in paradise. McLean said Friday morning he had no immediate update on injuries.

He says it's hard to break down effectively on the fire.

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12 a.m.

A fast-moving wildfire that ravaged a Northern California town.

A Cal Fire said thousands of structures were destroyed.

Harrowing tales of escape and heroic rescues emerged from Paradise, where the entire community of 27,000 was ordered to evacuate. Witnesses are reported to have homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement home in Flames.

The fire was reflected shortly after daybreak in a rural area. By nightfall, it had consumed more than 28 square miles and was raging out of control.

Authorities say at least two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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