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

Malibu residents ordered out as California wildfire nears

Malibu residents ordered out as California wildfire nears

All of Paradise, a town of about 27,000 people 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to evacuate, said Butte County Sheriff's spokeswoman Miranda Bowersox. "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday".

Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for tens of thousands of people in the scenic area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, including some residents of Chico, population 93,000, near Paradise.

"I guess we are leaving", Jones said.

The fire is being driven west by 56km/h winds, fire officials said.

California wildfire season should now be approaching their conclusion, as Autumn yields the general end point for the driest time of year.

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

Cal Fire Captain Bill Murphy said winds have calmed down in the valley but there are "shifting, erratic winds" with speeds of up to 45mph along ridge tops. Nearly 150,000 homes have been ordered evacuated, including the residences of some of the wealthiest enclaves in the country.

Almost 30,000 people were forced to evacuate on Thursday when a wildfire roared through this California town, located about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed. It's that kind of devastation", he said.


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

The erupted Thursday near the northwest corner of the city of Los Angeles as the region's notorious Santa Ana winds gusted, triggering overnight evacuations of an estimated 75,000 homes in western Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County.

On Friday, Pepperdine University announced it was shutting down its campuses in Malibu and Calabasas due to the Woolsey fire, The Malibu Times reported.

California Acting Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday declared a state of emergency for areas affected by the Woolsey and Hill fires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. We're working very hard to get people out. Evacuation centers were set up at Palisades High School and at Taft High School in Woodland Hills.

The resort is one of the most in-demand locations in California for Hollywood stars seeking privacy and luxury, and has been home to Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt and a host of other celebrities.

Many abandoned their cars on the side of the road, fleeing on foot.

"It's very chaotic. It's a very bad fire", Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol said of the evacuation.

Thick gray smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away. 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.

"There are quite a few of them we've seen, trying to escape the flames and get out, get to safety, because their home, their habitat, is on fire", she said. He described the community as having a lot of elderly residents, some with no vehicles.

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