Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Heroism, harrowing escapes as ‘Camp Fire’ destroys California town

The Woolsey Fire burning in Simi Valley Calif. Nov. 9 2018 The Woolsey Fire burning in Simi Valley Calif. Nov. 9 2018
Kenny Thornton | 10 November, 2018, 17:07

United States President Donald Trump has said "gross mismanagement of forests" is to blame for two unchecked wildfires burning in California, where nine people were killed and hundreds of thousands forced to flee.

It was also threatening parts of nearby Thousand Oaks in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, the site of the shooting massacre earlier this week.

In less than 24 hours, the Camp Fire torched Paradise homes, - businesses, supermarkets, restaurants and a retirement home - was left "pretty much.destroyed", California Fire Capt. Scott McLean said.

Butte County Sheriff Korey Honea said one of the additional deaths was said to be near those vehicles, another was inside a residence and at least three were said to be outside of residences.

On Friday, it moved over the Santa Monica Mountains toward Malibu, where flames driven by hot Santa Ana winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) raced down hillsides and through canyons toward multi-million dollar homes.

The Camp Fire's most significant growth happened Thursday afternoon, when it grew 10,000 acres in about 90 minutes, more than one football field per second, according to CNN.

The entire coastal enclave of Malibu also was under evacuation orders, with Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West and Guillermo del Toro among numerous celebrities forced to abandon their homes.

A fierce wildfire is burning through Southern California's upscale beach resort of Malibu - home to many Hollywood stars - destroying buildings and forcing residents to flee.

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The Woolsey Fire broke out on Thursday and quickly jumped the 101 Freeway toward Malibu.

Another 35 people had been reported missing and three firefighters had been injured.

The lull Saturday would give firefighters a chance to control the edges of the blaze and to swap fire crews, replacing firefighters who had worked for two days without rest, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

Northern California officials say investigators found five people dead in vehicles that were torched by the flames of a ferocious wildfire.

Also burning farther west in Ventura County was the Hill Fire, which fire officials said burned almost 4,050 hectares by Thursday night. An Instagram photo she made shows plumes of thick smoke heading towards her estate. Fire surrounded the evacuation route, and drivers panicked. "My home is in jeopardy but. everything with a heartbeat is safe", she said.

Another fire to the west has burned more than 9 square miles in Ventura County but has slowed since reaching the footprint of a fire stripped away vegetation in 2013. And, the fire took Western Town at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura.

"It is critical that residents pay close attention to evacuation orders", the Los Angeles County Fire Department said on Twitter.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (D), California's governor-elect, issued emergency proclamations and requested federal assistance, both for the Southern California blazes as well as the Camp fire burning in Northern California's Butte County.

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