California wildfire roars to life, forces thousands to flee

Lamar Ellis
November 10, 2018

Fire officials have also issued evacuation notices for parts of Chico, a town of 93,000 people north of Sacramento. "The south side as well as the north side has been hit very hard as well".

The entire city of Malibu was ordered to evacuate Friday morning as well as surrounding areas south of Highway 101, the entire community of Oak Park and sections of Thousand Oaks, according to a Ventura County incident webpage. Reportedly, at least nine people in a mountain town.

There was no estimated time to contain the fire, but officials said they would hold a daily news conference from the same location and time if conditions permit, until the fire is out.

Woolsey Fire was threatening 75,000 homes and more than 200,000 people were under mandatory evacuation early on Saturday.

An electric safety incident was reported by PG&E at about 6:15 a.m. Thursday near Pulga Road in Butte County, near where the Camp Fire started.

A lot of the resources assigned to the Hill Fire were transferred to the Woolsey Fire, which became the priority for firefighting efforts with heavy air support and hundreds of personnel working Friday.

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

"By the time we got out, the flames were a half mile away from the school. The message I want to get out is if you can evacuate, you need to evacuate", Honea said. "The town center is completely on the ground".

Even so, TV reports show homes, palm trees and even power poles erupting in flames. Miller at first scoffed at the notion of getting back in a vehicle. Some crashed and others left their vehicles by the roadside.

Cathy Fallon reacts as she stands near the charred remains of her home, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Paradise, Calif.

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Smoke from the fire drifted in a huge plume and set off smoke alarms as far away as San Francisco, almost 150 miles away.

Malibu has about 13,000 residents - including a number of celebrities - and many have shared pictures of busy roads as scores of cars take to the roads in a bid to escape.

Allana Hall captures this photo as she evacuates her home in Paradise, California. Some buildings caught fire and were damaged but the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

Four of the hospital's employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said.

The three blazes are among 16 now active fires in California.

"The preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were located in vehicles that were overcome by the Camp Fire", said a statement, adding that they had yet to be identified.

Malibu and the surrounding areas have been hit by many devastating wildfires over the years.

Mrs Herrera, who lives in Paradise with her 88-year-old husband Lou left a frantic voicemail to family saying they needed to get out.

"We're talking devastated", McLean said. I've linked to both of them and provided descriptions below. Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom has also declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles, Ventura and Butte counties.

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