Raging wildfires continue to bring harrowing destruction to California

Howard TerryNov 16, 2018

"It's all gone", he said softly as he sifted through the remains.

Evacuees from Paradise sat in stunned silence on Friday outside a Chico church where they took refuge the night before.

"Most of them were immobile, with walkers or spouses that were bed-ridden, so we were trying to get additional units to come and try and help us, just taking as many as we could", he said. Question is, where do you go? "This fire moved so fast and grew so fast a lot of people got caught by it". "I don't even know what to say".

Firefighters worked to protect thousands of students and staff sheltering in place Saturday at Pepperdine University as flames started reaching the campus overnight, school officials said.

Three wildfires in California - the Camp Fire in the northern part of the state, and the Woolsey and Hill Fires in the southern part of the state - have wreaked havoc, wiping one town almost off the map and forcing a quarter of a million people to flee their homes, reports Reuters.

In the cities of Calabasas and Malibu, home to many celebrities, some of them have written about this fire in social networks.

An estimated 75,000 homes were also evacuated along the borders of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, according to AP.

"The preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were located in vehicles that were overcome by the Camp Fire", said a statement by the Butte County Sheriff's Department, adding that they had yet to be identified.

Spectrum customers in the wildfire area were without cable and Internet service Saturday morning as fix teams worked to restore service, a statement from the company said. Authorities wound up closing the road to all northbound traffic out of Santa Monica, allowing southbound motorists to use all four lanes.

Evacuation orders included the entire town of Malibu, which is home to 13,000 residents.

Some of the evacuation orders were for residents within the City of Los Angeles in the West Hills area.

"It's been a brutal, hellish three days for the city of Thousand Oaks", City Councilwoman Claudia Bill-de la Peña said at a news conference on Saturday.

On Friday, the flames jumped Highway 101 and headed into coastal areas. TV personality Caitlyn Jenner's home was reportedly among those destroyed. There are still 35 people missing.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

The singer Cher, who is performing in Las Vegas, tweeted that she was anxious about her Malibu home. Several evacuation centers were set up in nearby towns. The Hill Fire was 15% contained. In Ventura County, Borchard Community Center at 190 Reino Rd.in Newbury Park was accepting dogs and cats, while the Camarillo Community Center at 1605 E. Burnley St. was accepting small animals.

With the death toll so far at nine and thousands of homes destroyed, U.S. President Donald Trump has blamed state mismanagement for the fires that are ravaging California. "Just yesterday, what, 24 hours ago I was feeding horses in the morning".

The lull allowed firefighters to gain 10 per cent control of the Woolsey fire, which has burned more than 130 square miles (335 square kilometres) in western Los Angeles County and southeastern Ventura County since Thursday.

Firefighters have made some progress, with the fire now reported at 20 percent containment.

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