Northern California Wildfire Killed Five People in Vehicles

Northern California Wildfire Killed Five People in Vehicles

At least nine people have been killed and more than 150,000 evacuated as two big wildfires rage in California, officials say. That fire grew more than 20-fold in about six hours just before it overtook the town of Paradise, home to about 27,000 people.

Three fast-moving wildfires burned in California on Friday morning, including one that spurred the evacuation of 75 000 homes near a city that was still reeling from a mass shooting. During the height of the blaze, firefighters completely surrendered firefighting duties in order to focus on rescuing people.

According to the City of Malibu, the entire area south of the 101 Freeway to the ocean, and from the Ventura County line to Las Virgenes Road / Malibu Canyon Road is under mandatory evacuation, including much of the City of Malibu, due to progress of the Woolsey Fire.

People reported much of the community of 30,000 people has gone up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement centre.

The Chico Fire Department said: "Firefighters continue to actively engage the fire in order to protect life and property".

Fire officials have issued evacuation notices for parts of Chico, a town of 93,000 people north of Sacramento.

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.

Wind in the valley calmed down, but they were still shifting and erratic along the ridgetops, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, he said.

The Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise evacuated staff and 41 patients to other hospitals, given its close proximity to the fire, said Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman.

Further north, another huge wildfire destroyed the town of Paradise, leaving nine people dead and 35 missing.

"Anything to bring more attention to Paradise. It's that kind of devastation".

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Meanwhile, portions of Southern California remained under siege early Friday as two large fires threatened numerous Ventura County communities.

In Los Angeles, a brush fire broke out near Griffith Park on Friday morning, behind the Los Angeles Zoo.

The fire in Paradise was reported shortly after daybreak Thursday.

An undetermined number of civilians and firefighters have been injured and Maclean said earlier it could take days to determine the number of fatalities. The Butte County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday at least five people have died. "I can't see, and maybe I should humble myself and get in this woman's vehicle". "The town center is completely on the ground".

As she fled, Gina Oviedo described a devastating scene in which flames engulfed homes, sparked explosions and toppled utility poles.

"Things started exploding", resident Gina Oviedo said.

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

One Paradise resident who fled the encroaching blaze told the Bee: "It was so hot".

He said rescuers were trying to put them in other vehicles.

Chico police officer John Barker and his partner evacuated several seniors from an apartment complex.

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