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

Malibu fire rages through coastal homes

Malibu fire rages through coastal homes

Nine people were declared dead and 150,000 evacuated as fierce wildfires raged across the western U.S. state of California, with one rapidly spreading blaze threatening the famed resort of Malibu.

In all, three major fires are burning across the state.

Among the towns under evacuation orders is Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people in a rampage on Wednesday.

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.

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

Unbeknownst to residents, the Woolsey Fire had just ignited a short drive away.

At midday on Friday local time, it covered about 5665 hectares.

The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings for fire dangers in many areas of the state, saying low humidity and strong winds were expected to continue through Friday evening. "All residents must evacuate immediately".

Among them was Kim Curtis, who was searching for her grandmother, who told family at 8 a.m. Thursday that she would flee her Paradise home in her Buick with her cat.

"Just landed back home and had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home. My home is in jeopardy but. everything with a heartbeat is safe", she said.

The singer Cher, who is performing in Las Vegas, tweeted that she was anxious about her Malibu home.

Evacuations were ordered for all communities south of USA 101, including the entire city of Malibu, where the population of about 13,000 includes many celebrities.

The blaze has also reportedly destroyed the Paramount Ranch in western California, where HBO series Westworld is filmed.

Where is the Camp Fire?

These are firestorms - towering, fast-moving walls of flames hundreds of feet high - the kind of fires that are not only uncontrolled by firefighters, but uncontrollable.

Five people have died during massive wildfires in the U.S. state of California, a representative of the Butte County Sheriff's office told Sputnik. Three more were found outside a residence, and one inside a house.

Five people were discovered dead in or near burned-out cars, while another 35 people have been reported missing.

"This event was the worst-case scenario".

In Southern California, fire burning through wind-whipped palm trees on Thursday resembled a hurricane.

The fire burning east of Chico has destroyed much of the community of Paradise, a city with a population of almost 27,000 people. There are booms and creaks from burning trees and telegraph poles.

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

Much of Southern California was under a red flag warning from the fires as gusty winds were expected to reach between 20 and 40 miles per hour, and in some areas, up to 65 miles per hour.

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