At least nine people have died and 35 are missing in a wildfire in Northern California, while in Southern California thousands of homes are under threat and all of Malibu has been evacuated as two other fires bear down.
The Camp Fire in Northern California is now the most destructive in state history, after wiping out the town of Paradise. Authorities suspect it may have been started by a malfunction in power lines.
President Donald Trump on Friday evening approved an emergency declaration issuing federal funds to support the battle against the Camp Fire and Southern California’s Hill and Woolsey Fires.
More than 300,000 people from across the state have been forced to flee their homes, as the fast moving flames from the three fires that all started on Thursday have raced to cover more than 200 square miles.
Whipped by the notorious Santa Ana winds gusting up to 60mph, the southern blazes have not yet killed or injured anyone, but have destroyed many homes and forced thousands to flee for their lives on short notice – including many celebrities who live in the wealthy coastal enclaves under threat.
The larger of the two southern blazes, the Woolsey Fire, has scorched as least 35,000 acres north of Los Angeles since igniting near Rocketdyne at around 2pm local time Thursday, quickly spreading southwest toward Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, the community still reeling from a mass shooting in a bar on Wednesday night.
The massive Woolsey Fire was a zero containment on Friday night, and dozens of communities on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties as well as the beachside city of Malibu were ordered to evacuate as the flames approached. On Friday night, the fire crossed the Pacific Coast Highway, marching straight up to the ocean’s edge.
To the west of the Woolsey Fire a second, smaller blaze dubbed the Hill Fire has torched almost 6,000 acres in Ventura County after igniting at around the same time in Hill Canyon on Thursday afternoon.
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Source: Daily Mail