Moving wildfire claims 5 lives and quadruples in size in Northern California

Moving wildfire claims 5 lives and quadruples in size in Northern California

Moving wildfire claims 5 lives and quadruples in size in Northern California

The destructive Camp Fire has already burned over 18,000 acres of Butte County, Northern California as of Thursday afternoon, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Within roughly six hours, the fire had grown to more than 26 square miles (69 square kilometers), said Gaddie.

"I don't have all of the details because we have investigators out on the field attempting to get to those locations" where the casualties were reported, Honea said at a press conference.

She and her husband "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as numerous residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible, Bernacett said. "It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us".

Residents on social media posted their views of the flames almost consuming the hillside in the Newbury Park area of western Thousand Oaks.

Residents spoke of flames approaching their vehicles on the gridlocked roads and said electricity poles came crashing down.

"Things started exploding", Oviedo said.

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It is feared some of the dead may be elderly residents who were trapped in their homes.

Malibu and the surrounding areas have been hit by many devastating wildfires over the years.

"We're talking devastated", McLean said. "We're anxious sick. They do have a vehicle, but they both are older and can be confused at times".

Ventura County Fire Department tweeted that intense winds fueled the fire overnight, leading it to jump 101. Witnesses reported seeing homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement home up in flames.

"It's hard", Cal Fire Butte County Capt. John Gaddi said.

People are now staying in shelters in the town of Chico, some 14 miles away. Burning at a rate of roughly 80 football fields per minute, county officials have declared a State of Emergency as CalFire reports some 70,000 acres have burned with just 5 percent of the fire contained.

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In total, the number of people tackling the flames number 2,289, using engines, helicopters, water and bulldozers.

The entire city of Malibu was ordered to evacuate Friday morning as well as surrounding areas south of Highway 101, the entire community of Oak Park and sections of Thousand Oaks, according to a Ventura County incident webpage.

Evacuations are now under way, with tens of thousands of people having already been forced to flee their homes, and hot and dry weather conditions are exacerbating the problem.

"It was absolutely dark", said resident Mike Molloy, who said he made a decision based on the wind to leave Thursday morning, packing only the minimum and joining a sea of other vehicles.

Traffic jams the southbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway as all of the city of Malibu is evacuated to flee advancing flames during the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 in Malibu, California.

The Santa Ana winds, which blow out of the Sierra Nevadas and toward the western coastline, are building into howling gales that dry the vegetation and the soil, creating potentially explosive fire conditions.

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"We are still reeling, but we are also very resilient", she said.

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