Five People Killed Trying to Flee Massive California Wildfire (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Charlene Craig
November 16, 2018

The Camp Fire in the northern part of the state has burned through 20,000 acres, while the Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties quadrupled in size overnight.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Firefighter Adrien Mahnke pauses while battling the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for more than 50,000 people in the scenic area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, including some residents of Chico, population 93,000, near Paradise.

"I was frantic", she told the NY Daily News.

The challenging fire conditions are expected to continue Friday in Southern California where wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued and wind gusts could reach 70 miles per hour and relative humidity could be as low as 2 percent. "The swirling winds create unpredictable conditions and that's when people die", Palley says.

In Southern California, some 75,000 homes were ordered evacuated in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, with the Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeting: "imminent threat".

In Northern California, panicked residents began fleeing Paradise on Thursday as the Camp Fire swept through it.

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At least 40,000 residents were forced to evacuate from Butte County as the fire burned 70,000 acres.

"You pose a danger to yourself and emergency responders", Ventura County Fire Department Captain Scott Dettorre said about the drivers.

Active investigations are underway on all three fires, "particularly the Camp Fire", Pimlott said.

Other major fires in the state include the Hill Fire, now 6,000 acres in size, and the Woolsey Fire, which is 8,000 acres in size. "But people know they can't get back in once they do leave".

On Friday, officials ordered the evacuation of the star-studded beachside community of Malibu as a wildfire encroached upon it.

That prompted residents to abandon their vehicles and run from the flames, carrying children and pets, officials said.

Almost 800 kilometres to the south, a second blaze forced the evacuation of the upscale oceanside city of Malibu and threatened the beleaguered town of Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people this week in a rampage in a bar and dance hall. "They were going off like bombs", said Karen Auday, who escaped to a nearby town. Last night it covered just 2,000 acres.

Camp Fire death toll now at 48, worst in state history
Winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour have been fanning the fast-moving flames and no rainfall is forecast for the next few days. It has burned more than 8,800 structures , Cal Fire officials said.

The warm Santa Ana winds remained strong Friday morning, with gusts as high as 70 miles per hour forecast in certain regions around the two southern fires.

The Hill Fire is the other fire burning near the site of this week's mass shooting in Thousand Oaks.

Rushing home, she and her husband attempted to flee but soon found themselves trapped with other evacuees, which she caught in harrowing video.

While no homes or businesses have been lost to the fast-moving blaze, a number of RVs and outbuildings have been burned and a firefighter suffered a minor injury, authorities said. The National Weather Service does not expect the gusts to subside until later in the day.

A second fire has been burning in the Santa Rosa Valley east of Camarillo, west of Simi Valley near Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks. The wildfire was also complicating those evacuation efforts by finding footholds on both sides of one of the region's main thoroughfares, the 101 Freeway.

Evacuations in Hidden Hills and all portions in the City of Los Angeles have been revised from mandatory to voluntary, the Fire Department stated.

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