Malibu Under Evacuation Orders as Massive Fire Rages

Malibu Under Evacuation Orders as Massive Fire Rages

Malibu Under Evacuation Orders as Massive Fire Rages

Nine people were declared dead and tens of thousands evacuated Friday as fierce wildfires raged across the western USA state of California, with one rapidly spreading blaze threatening the famed resort of Malibu.

Only a day after it began, the blaze near the town of Paradise had grown to almost 110 square miles, and investigators found the dead in vehicles that were torched by the flames.

Officials said at least three firefighters have been injured on the job and that 3,223 firefighters are working this fire. Celebrity website TMZ reported that the Malibu ridge home of Caitlyn Jenner, America's best-known transgender person, was destroyed by the flames on Friday.

"We were surrounded by fire".

"We were surrounded by fire, we were driving through fire on each side of the road", said police officer Mark Bass, who is a Chico police officer who lives in Paradise to USA Today.

Firefighters were scrambling Friday to slow the spread of two large wind-whipped wildfires in Ventura County that already had scorched thousands of acres, destroyed an unknown number of structures, and prompted widespread evacuations.

It reached the edge of Chico, a city of 90,000 people Thursday night.

Authorities said around 105,000 people had been evacuated in southern California.

Wind gusts of 50 to 70 miles per hour (80 to 113 kph) were expected in the mountains of Ventura County and up to 50 miles per hour in the valleys and coastal areas of the county, the NWS said.

"We're just hoping that our brand new home that we were hoping to move into tomorrow is not burned to the ground", Winstead said. Over the course of the day, evacuation orders were issued in Paradise, Concow, and Pulga, towns about 200 miles north of San Francisco. "It's that kind of devastation", he said.

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The Woolsey Fire is seen looking towards the west valley area on November 9, in Porter Ranch, California.

The Los Angeles and Ventura county fire departments say multiple buildings have been destroyed or damaged, but exact numbers were not available early Friday.

No injuries have been reported in either fire. It was burning in the same area impacted by the 2013 Springs Fire where there was "sparse fuel", fire officials said Friday.

Butte County Sherriff Kory Honea told the Chico Enterprise-Record that "it's bad". "We're doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas".

"I just kept him with me because I actually thought that I was going to have to get out and run", she said.

They lived in an RV park in the California foothill town and were unlikely equipped to evacuate.

"Things started exploding", Oviedo said. Miller at first scoffed at the notion of getting back in a vehicle.

Queues to leave the city have resulted in traffic jams and gridlock, which has led people to leave cars abandoned on roads as they rush to safety.

Thousands of cars stood bumper to bumper, trying to ply their way slowly south to safer parts - all while a bank of thick gray smoke crept over the horizon.

A red flag warning is in effect in the area, meaning Thursday will bring 20-to-40-mph winds and low humidity that threaten to spread the wildfire.

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