Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Raging Wildfire Prompts Complete Evacuation of Malibu City in California

Satellite Image taken at 3:12 p.m. The blue lake in the center with the white line through it is Lake Tahoe with California's border overlayed in white Tens of thousands flee fast-moving Northern California fire
Deanna Wagner | 10 November, 2018, 09:49

He said another victim was found near a vehicle but outside it.

The Butte county sheriff's office says an evacuation order was issued on Friday for the small communities of Stirling City and Inskip, north of Paradise, where thousands of homes were destroyed.

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

It came as a massive wildfire swept through the area, easily burning through 28 square miles. "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday".

The fast-moving Camp Fire has been fanned by strong winds to scorch 70,000 acres (28,300 hectares) and has not been contained, the California Fire Department (Cal Fire) said. The Woolsey fire, south of Simi Valley, spread to 35,000 acres and is making its way toward the coastal city of Malibu, where a mandatory evacuation was ordered. The message I want to get out is: "If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate".

Evacuations are now under way, with tens of thousands of people having already been forced to flee their homes, and hot and dry weather conditions are exacerbating the problem.

In the town's central shopping area, there was little left but rubble. Many homes have propane tanks that were exploding amid the flames. Several evacuation centers were set up in nearby towns.

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", he also told The Associated Press. Currently, about 15,000 structures are being threatened by the wildfire, fire officials told AP. The company said it later observed damage to a transmission tower on the line near the town of Paradise.

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A wildfire (known as the "Camp Fire") in California is threatening to destroy thousands of homes and large amounts of property, prompting mass evacuations.

By Thursday night, a shelter at the Neighborhood Church shelter in Chico was full and authorities were directing people to the Oroville Nazarene Church and the Butte County Fairgrounds.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 621,743 acres (251,610 hectares) burned through Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, almost twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and almost triple the five-year average.

There were no signs of life Friday on the road to Paradise except for the occasional bird chirp.

With limited escape routes from the town, traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock, with residents abandoning vehicles and running from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said. Some of the "majestic oaks" the town boasts of on its website still have fires burning in their trunks. Seven burned out Mercedes chassis are all that's left of Ernst Mercedes Specialist lot. All of the people were found dead in their cars, which were "overcome by the Camp Fire", the sheriff said. Miller at first she scoffed at the notion of getting back in a stopped vehicle. Miller jumped in her boyfriend's rickety pickup truck, which was low on gas and equipped with a bad transmission. Many got stuck in gridlocked traffic trying to escape.

"F-ing Paradise is gone", she said.