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Five die in California wildfires, 150,000 forced to flee

10 November 2018

A Northern California wildfire that moved so fast firefighters didn't even try to stop it killed five people, authorities said Friday as the blaze quadrupled in size after leveling much of a town of almost 30,000 people.

Forecasts predict continued windy and dry conditions through the weekend, particularly in the northern part of the state, paired with low humidity, a lack of precipitation, and dry vegetation, which are expected to make fire danger worse in some of California's most populated areas. "Regrettably, not everybody made it out". At least 20 homes have already burned.

Five people were discovered dead in or near burned-out cars, while another 35 people have been reported missing.

When Paradise was evacuated, the order set off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got struck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee on foot. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) A wildfire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

6,453 of those structures were residences, 260 were commercial buildings.

Five people of the dead were found in cars in a town that was destroyed by the Camp Fire in the state's north.

In Malibu, some 500 miles (800 km) to the south, flames driven by hot Santa Ana winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) raced down hillsides and through canyons toward multi-million dollar homes.

Traffic jammed on sections of Pacific Coast Highway and some evacuated to popular Zuma Beach.

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Mr Murphy said firefighters were able to stop the fire at the edge of the city, where evacuation orders remain in place.

Among them was Kim Curtis, who was searching for her grandmother, who told family at 8 a.m. Thursday that she would flee her Paradise home in her Buick with her cat. Celebrity website TMZ reported that the Malibu ridge home of Caitlyn Jenner, America's best-known transgender person, was destroyed by the flames on Friday. Her publicist could not confirm the status of her house, but told Reuters that Jenner was safe.

A California fire official says six major fires are burning around the state, and characterized three of them as "critical".

Bass evacuated his family from Paradise and returned to the fire to help rescue several disabled residents, including a man trying to carry his bedridden wife to safety.

A row of burned vehicles are seen on Skyway during the Camp Fire in Paradise. The fire was was also burning in parts of Los Angeles County.

The fire broke out on Thursday north west of Los Angeles and roared south, jumping the USA 101 freeway early on Friday and sweeping into the Santa Monica Mountains. Thousands of firefighters are battling the flames.

The other fire burning to the west in Ventura County was also moving toward the ocean but its pace was slowed as it moved into the footprint of a 2013 wildfire that devoured vegetation on the far end of the Santa Monica range.

Five die in California wildfires, 150,000 forced to flee