Woolsey Fire: California blaze advances on Malibu

09 November, 2018, 23:04 | Author: Bert Pena
  • A wildfire comes down from a hilltop Thursday Nov. 8 2018 near Newbury Park Calif. The Ventura County Fire Department has ordered evacuation of some communities in the path of the fire which erupted a few miles from the site of Wednesday night's dead

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Woolsey Fire south of the 101 Freeway to the coast - from the Ventura/LA County line east to Malibu Canyon Road, including areas in Malibu.

"We were surrounded by fire, we were driving through fire on each side of the road", said police officer Mark Bass, who lives in Paradise and works in neighboring Chico.

The fire placed more than 75,000 homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties under evacuation orders as of Friday morning, and there was still no containment on the blaze.

Pimlott said six major fires are now burning in California, with three (Camp, Woolsey and Hill) designated "critical".

Firefighters from Ventura and Los Angeles counties also continue to battle the Woolsey Fire under a unified command as it burns toward the coast.

Fire officials have issued evacuation notices for parts of Chico, a town of 93,000 people north of Sacramento. Fire officials said it could take days to figure out how many people died.

The two blazes are among 16 now active fires in California.

About 12:30 a.m., all residents in Los Angeles and Ventura counties north of the Ventura 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle Boulevard and east of Erbes Road, as well as north of Kanan Road, west of Lindero Canyon to Erbes Road extending north to Sunset Hills Boulevard were told to evacuate, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

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The full extent of the destruction is still unknown, but authorities believe up to 1,000 buildings have been destroyed - most of those in Paradise, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) spokesman said.

The Woolsey Fire triggered a mandatory evacuation order for the entire beachside city of Malibu.

The Ventura County Fire Department on Friday morning estimated that the blaze had burned 6,100 acres, a smaller number than a Thursday afternoon estimate of 8,000 to 10,000 acres.

A lot of the resources assigned to the Hill Fire were transferred to the Woolsey Fire, which became the priority for firefighting efforts with heavy air support and hundreds of personnel working Friday.

The glow of the fire could be seen reflecting in their terrified eyes.

Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean said a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The "Hill Fire" was sparked Thursday in the Newbury Park Area, which is roughly one mile away from Wednesday's deadly mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. At one point, the unrelenting flames burned about 2,000 acres per hour taking down everything - big box stores, homes, and businesses - in its path. She had been filming aerial shots in her private plane earlier for her Instagram Stories and realized her own home was threatened. "I pray everyone is safe", she wrote.

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