Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Nine killed, 35 missing in California wildfire; Malibu threatened

Nine killed, 35 missing in California wildfire; Malibu threatened

The Woolsey fire destroyed dozens homes on Friday, including Caitlyn Jenner's, forcing total evacuations of Malibu and Hidden Hills in one of the worst L.A. blazes in recent memory.

More than 40 patients were evacuated to other facilities.

In the midst of the chaos, officials said they could not provide figures on the number of wounded, but County Cal Fire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that at least two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.

Meteorologists marvelled at the "gut-wrenching" rate of spread Thursday's fires exhibited.

The blaze started on Thursday near Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles (64km) north-west of central Los Angeles.

Conditions in Oak Park, just north of Malibu, have been described as "surreal" and "horrific".

It easily jumped eight-lane Highway 101 and rambled over the Santa Monica Mountains to posh Malibu, where it torched homes and cars. Last night it covered just 2,000 acres.

A home burns as the Camp Fire moves through the area in Paradise, California.

San Luis Obispo County residents traveling south on Friday into Ventura County and Los Angeles should use caution and be prepared for delays and detours caused by two wildfires that have closed parts of Highway 101 and prompted evacuations.

Celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Mark Hammil and Lady Gaga posted in social media posts they had been forced to flee their homes. On Instagram she urged people to "pray for Calabasas".

Adriana Lima tears up during final walk at Victoria's Secret Show 2018
The Weeknd and Bella's mom Yolanda Hadid mingled with other A-listers like Luka Sabbat before the show began. The fashion show will air on ABC on Sunday, December 2.

Her husband, the rapper Kanye West, said their family was "safe and close".

Singer Cher, who has had a house in Malibu since 1972, also wrote: "I'm anxious about my house, but there is nothing I can do". One CBS reporter said she has seen rabbits cowering from the smoke, and running around in confusion.

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro tweeted that he had evacuated, leaving behind his "Bleak House" museum collection of fantasy and horror memorabilia. No fire-related injuries or fatalities have been reported as of yet, but winds expected to reach 112 kilometers per hour (70 mph) could help the fire continue to spread. The town of Chico, population 93,000, was potentially threatened as 35-mile-per hour (56 kph) winds drove the blaze westward, he added. The Butte County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday at least five people have died. "It was the event we have feared for a long time".

When Paradise was evacuated, the order set off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got stuck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee on foot.

A Cal Fire spokesman said around 2,000 buildings were believed to have been razed in Paradise.

Walking among the ashes of people's lives is eerie and terrible. Much of the brush and grasses were blackened along the valleys, and many trees were still burning, a CNN crew there observed.

And soon, going from ruin to ruin, there will be the sound of those with the hardest job of all, checking to see if anyone was left behind.

The Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara, at 3400 Calle Real, was opening at noon Friday to accept large animals for evacuated residents, according to Ventura County officials.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 621,743 acres (251,610 hectares) burned through Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, almost twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and almost triple the five-year average.

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