California wildfires kill 9; celebrities, others flee beach city

Firefighters work to keep flames from spreading through the Shadowbrook apartment complex as a wildfire burns through Paradise Calif. on Friday Nov. 9 2018

Three-quarters of the city of 130,000 was under evacuation orders - and that likely included people affected by the shooting, Thousand Oaks Mayor Andy Fox said.

Firefighters battle flames overnight during a wildfire that burned dozens of homes in Thousand Oaks, California.

Mr Murphy said firefighters were able to stop the fire at the edge of the city, where evacuation orders remain in place.

On Friday, the massive blaze spread north, prompting officials to order the evacuation of Stirling City and Inskip, two communities north of Paradise along the Sierra Nevada foothills. At least 100 structures have burned, and the blaze had jumped the 101 Freeway and was spreading south.

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

The Camp Fire in Northern California exploded in size Thursday, burning about 20,000 acres and overtaking the town of Paradise, where around 30,000 people were forced to evacuate at the last minute.

Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration to aid with multiple fires burning in California.

Some may have lost their lives trying to flee the Camp Fire. "It was the event we have feared for a long time", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a Friday evening press conference.

"The preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were located in vehicles that were overcome by the Camp Fire", said a statement by the Butte County Sheriff's Department, adding that they had yet to be identified. He said there are also injuries.

A local couple recorded their own harrowing escape from the region, posting a video on Facebook that recalls scenes from an apocalyptic film. God help us!' Bernacett said before breaking down crying.

Sanchez said he was in Sacramento Thursday seeing a cancer doctor when he got a call from his mother and his friends that his children had to evacuate.

Chico Camp Fire in Butte County
It's a very bad fire", Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol said of the evacuation. Residents abandoned vehicles and ran from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said.

The singer Cher, who is performing in Las Vegas, tweeted that she was anxious about her Malibu home.

And CalFire Capt. Bill Murphy warned there's likely still more to come.

"This is a very risky wind driven fire".

Highway 101 is now open in both directions in Ventura County, but is closed farther south in Los Angeles County due to the Woolsey Fire burning near the border between the two counties.

"The first part of this fuel bed had not seen fire for many years".

Fire officials said strong Santa Ana winds continued to fuel the Woolsey Fire overnight, doubling its size to almost 3,248 hectares.

A California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection official told Sputnik on Friday the wildfire has burned through 70,000 acres of land and 5 percent has been contained.

Winds are expected to die down Friday morning and firefighters said that should help for now, but they are expected to pick back up again on Sunday.

"I just kept him with me because I actually thought that I was going to have to get out and run", she said. Within roughly six hours, the fire had grown to more than 26 square miles (69 square kilometers), said Gaddie. Smoke from the blaze is already descending on the Bay Area some 240km away.

Large animals can be evacuated to the Zuma Beach parking lot in Malibu (30050 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265), and Hansen Dam Equestrian Center (11127 Orcas Ave., Lake View Terrace CA 91342).

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