Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

California wildfires force hundreds of thousands to evacuate, claim five lives

California wildfires force hundreds of thousands to evacuate, claim five lives

On Saturday, in Los Angeles County, the 14,164 hectares Woolsey Fire was threatening 75,000 homes and more than 200,000 people were under mandatory evacuation early on Saturday.

According to a release, crews from across the state of Arizona have been sent, including crews from the Daisy Mountain, Desert Hills, Eloy, Glendale, Jerome, Nogales, Peoria, Superstition, and Surprise fire departments.

Two fast-moving wildfires that exploded in the Southern California hills have claimed nine lives and forced thousands to flee their homes, including the entire city of Malibu, a sprawling naval base and many Hollywood celebrity homes.

Osby said losses to homes were significant but did not say how many had burned.

"We heard this was coming so we set up the sprinklers and we hosed the whole house down", said Malibu resident Patrick Henry.

The Woolsey Fire is one of two blazes burning just miles from the site of Wednesday night's mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. The blaze, dubbed the Camp Fire, was driven by dry conditions and strong winds.

In Northern California, a fire incinerated most of the town of Paradise.

National Park Service officials reported the famed Western Town at Paramount Ranch, a filming location for hundreds of TV and movie productions, including HBO's "Westworld", had burned to an unknown extent.

Officials said Friday the fire has destroyed 6,453 homes and another 260 commercial structures and has grown to 362 square kilometers.

President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration providing federal funding to help firefighters battling the fires.

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"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor", Trump tweeted Saturday.

Two destructive wildfires also burned in Southern California, tearing through Malibu mansions and working-class suburban homes and killing two people.

Governor-elect Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to provide assistance to the hardest-hit areas in the fire-prone state.

"It's devastating. It's like "welcome to hell", resident Cynthia Ball said.
And now, they've frightened some of your brothers and sisters out into the roadways and I don't know where they are. "We're kind of all shaking right now".

Wildfire raged on both sides of the city still in mourning, where about three-quarters of the population are under evacuation orders that officials urged them to heed.

"Just landed back home and had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home".

Crews from other agencies were also assisting in battling the massive blaze, helping evacuate residents and providing traffic control.

Flames spread so quickly that firefighters couldn't be everywhere at once, and many residents to take matters into their own hands. Two men with shovels struggled to dig a firebreak in front of a line of burning brush.

Another 35 people had been reported missing and three firefighters had been injured.

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