Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

California wildfire roars to life, forces thousands to flee

California wildfire roars to life, forces thousands to flee

The Camp Fire has burned at least 20,000 acres in Northern California, forcing the evacuation of 40,000 people.

The Butte County Sheriff's office said the victims were found dead in vehicles that had been burned by the Camp Fire that left a trail of destruction in its path.

Another 35 people had been reported missing and three firefighters had been injured.

On Thursday, acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California and requested a presidential disaster declaration, saying that unsafe weather conditions were expected to last several days.

"Firefighters continue to actively engage the fire in order to protect life and property", the Chico Fire Department said in a tweet. "Multiple cars, vehicles left in the roadway burned out".

As surreal as those details often sound, they are a natural by-product of a town where entertainment is the principal industry and where the fires are focused on an area, Malibu, which is populated by numerous town's rich and famous.

OES Director Mark Ghilarducci said in Friday's press briefing that state agencies are still working toward assessments of damage and losses.

Home owner Will Buckley uses a shovel with dirt to try to stop the flames from from destroying a neighbor's home during the Woosley Fire in Malibu, California, U.S. November 9, 2018.

By Friday morning, a day after the fire broke out along Pulga Road at Camp Creek Road in Butte County, firefighters said about 80 percent of the town, population 26,000, was lost. "All of it is engulfed in flames right now".

"They are fine", she said. "We're kind of all shaking right now". It began early Thursday morning, and and grew so rapidly that it reached some 18,000 acres (7,200 hectares) as of Thursday afternoon.

Part of the Paramount Ranch, in Agoura Hills, was also destroyed by the fires; the ranch is a historic Hollywood filming location, dating back to the 1930s but most recently used as the setting for the HBO series Westworld. Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said a "significant number" of homes had been destroyed by the flames but that an accurate count could not yet be made.

"The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds", Carhart said.

"We heard this was coming so we set up on the sprinklers and we hosed the whole house down", said Patrick Henry, a Malibu resident. "We pretty much had enough time to get the dogs in the trunk".

One sheriff's deputy described his surroundings as "blackout conditions" as others detailed roads that were "completely blocked" due to roaring flames.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, who lives just north of coastal Malibu in Calabasas, revealed on Instagram that she was forced to flee her home.

Those who live there have been warned of an "imminent threat" to their safety, with thousands of people being urged to flee however they can.

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