Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Woolsey Fire: California blaze advances on Malibu

Woolsey Fire: California blaze advances on Malibu

A Cal Fire helicopter picks up water from a reservoir while battling the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 8, 2018.

In Southern California, Santa Ana winds gusting at 50-70 miles per hour in Ventura and Los Angeles counties are expected to ease Saturday. "California's state fire agency reported the fire is "very dynamic" and that '[s] trong winds are moving the fire quickly".

"It's really dry and we have low humidity, and unfortunately those are great conditions for a fire to spread".

The fire broke out on Thursday north west of Los Angeles and roared south, jumping the United States 101 freeway early on Friday and sweeping into the Santa Monica Mountains. The fire now covers an area of about 35,000 acres (14,150 hectares).

The fire broke out near Thousand Oaks, an area about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles where an attacker killed 12 people on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of 75,000 homes.

The sheriff's office said the victims were found near the town of Paradise, which was destroyed by a blaze that forced thousands of residents to flee as it rapidly approached the outskirts of the city of Chico early Friday.

Calabasas and Malibu are home to many celebrities and some have been posting on social media. On Instagram she urged people to "pray for Calabasas".

"Just landed back home and had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home". The she reconsidered, thinking: "I'm really scared, this is terrifying, I can't breathe, I can't see and maybe I should humble myself and get in this woman's auto". My family is evacuated and safe.

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In Northern California, a classic offshore flow has been set up that's similar to the Santa Ana winds.

The fire in Southern California was being whipped up Thursday evening by powerful winds that pushed it through canyons and to the edge of Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands, both of which were evacuated, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Everyone in Paradise, a community of 27,000 people about 290 kilometres northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to get out.

The Thousand Oaks-area Conejo Valley Unified School District also has closed all its schools.

"There's nothing left standing", said Mr Maclean. Residents abandoned vehicles and ran from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said.

Since the fire ignited, at least nine people have been confirmed dead, almost 6,500 homes and 90,000 acres have burned and about 30,000 residents have evacuated, media reports said. The brush fire has already caused mandatory evacuations on Friday in Malibu, California.

The hospital was totally destroyed, Mike Mangas, a spokesman for operator Dignity Health, told Action News Now.

Thousands are also without power in the region, which is just north of Sacramento.

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Paradise is a small city in California, and has limited escape routes which has made leaving hard.

Others described watching flames consume their property as they evacuated.

The California fire season normally begins in late spring and lasts through summer.

The fire, as officials expected, continued to spread to nearby towns, including the city of Chico.

Numerous people reported missing on social media are elderly.

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed".

Images of the Hill Fire burning in Ventura County.

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