Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

California Wildfires Now Deadliest In State History As Fatalities Rise

California Wildfires Now Deadliest In State History As Fatalities Rise

The Woolsey Fire, which erupted Thursday afternoon, has destroyed at least 150 homes and forced the evacuation of 75,000 homes and 200,000 people in both counties as it indiscriminately consumed multi-million dollar mansions and mobile homes.

"This was a rapidly moving fire", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told the Chico Enterprise-Record. A massive wildfire swept through the area, Thursday, and the roads were so clogged with vehicles, that some drivers left their cars and ran to escape the flames.

The blaze, which spewed massive plumes of thick black smoke, also threatened parts of the nearby town of Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people in a rampage on Wednesday. Reportedly, at least nine people in a mountain town.

"I am thinking so deeply for everyone who is suffering today from these abominable fires and grieving the loss of their homes or loved ones", Lady Gaga said in a tweet.

The fast-moving Camp Fire has been fanned by strong winds to scorch 20,000 acres (8,093 hectares) and has not been contained, the California Fire Department (Cal Fire) said.

Nothing was left but the horses for Arik Fultz, who spent Saturday sifting through the remains through the charred remains of his 40-acre ranch near Malibu. Acting Governor Gavin Newsom called a state of emergency in Butte County.

Officials said two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.

Concerned friends and family posted frantic messages on Twitter and other sites saying they were looking for loved ones, particularly seniors who lived at retirement homes or alone. Authorities estimated that more than 6,000 structures were destroyed.

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A row of burned vehicles are seen on Skyway during the Camp Fire in Paradise.

Flames spread so quickly that firefighters couldn't be everywhere at once, and many residents to take matters into their own hands. They were backed up by helicopters and water tankers.

Trump earlier issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds to help firefighters.

Authorities later ordered mandatory evacuations for the West Hills area in the San Fernando Valley, not far from the fire's origin.

California continues to reckon with the most destructive wildfire it has ever seen as thousands of structures topple and the death toll rises to nine. Jones said she drove into Paradise on Friday with a fire official and two council members to assess the damage. The state agency is responsible for providing wildfire relief throughout most of the state.

The fire was initially small but has been fuelled by 50mph and tinder-dry forests.

Even from across the globe, the light of the deadly California wildfires reached President Donald Trump.

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said Saturday the Arizona personnel and equipment will handle assignments that include fire suppression and backfilling for local fire departments.

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