Two Major Fires Burning in Ventura County


All of the fatalities were reported in a massive late-season inferno in the town of Paradise, in Butte County north of the state capital Sacramento, where the entire population of 26,000 was ordered to leave, officials said.

In Northern California's Butte County, a huge brush fire devasted the town of Paradise, where 1,000 structures were lost. In the video posted to Facebook, two people are seen in a vehicle trying to escape a barrage of flames licking the road.

Officials said Friday the fire has destroyed 6,453 homes and another 260 commercial structures and has grown to 362 square kilometers.

The Woolsey Fire broke out about 2:25 p.m. Thursday, pushed by strong Santa Ana winds which prevented fire commanders from ordering aerial assaults in the early morning hours. A list compiled by a local news affiliate reports a growing number of missing people after almost the entire town of Paradise, population roughly 30,000, has been destroyed. The nine worst fires the state have seen all burned at least 1000 buildings, with the top three topping 2000. "When we have conditions like this, when it's such incredible wind, that brings us into a different caliber".

"It's devastating. It's like 'welcome to hell, ' " resident Cynthia Ball said about the dual disasters while she was outside the teen center serving as a shelter for evacuees. As the fire unfolded throughout the day, reports on the police scanner recounted scenes of unspeakable terror. Maclean said an as yet unspecified number of civilians and firefighters had been injured, and that it could be days before authorities would know whether anyone had died. Acting California Governor Gavin Newsom has requested an emergency presidential disaster declaration from Trump to speed the flow of federal aid to victims.

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

Another fire, known as the Woolsey Fire, prompted officials to call for the voluntary evacuation of some 75,000 homes in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, the site of a mass shooting this week in which 12 people were killed.

The city tweeted that the evacuation affects areas between the Ventura county line and Malibu Canyon.

A wildfire burns boats on Malibu Lake in Malibu, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

Calabasas and Malibu are home to numerous celebrities and some have been posting on social media, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian. "I just pray the winds are in our favor".

The blaze also reached the edge of Chico, a city of 90,000 people.

The Woolsey Fire advanced to the Pacific Ocean Friday, spreading 15 miles south from Simi Valley to Malibu.

The two bodies were found in a sparsely populated stretch of Mulholland Highway in Malibu, but Los Angeles County sheriff's Chief John Benedict offered no further details, saying detectives are investigating. The two fires, the Woolsey and the Hill fires, had caused the evacuation of 250,000 in Southern California, Cal OES said.

"We've been in rescuer mode of saving (human) lives and saving animals, and we're still doing that, but we're also doing fire suppression work as well now", Tidwell said.