California Wildfires Burn Just Miles From Community Grieving Over Shooting

Frederick Owens
November 10, 2018

Responders are still assessing how many structures were lost, but the priority Friday was life safety and making sure people get evacauted from threatened areas, he said.

A wildfire is hopscotching across a northern California county at a rate of roughly 80 football fields per minute, forcing evacuations, injuring residents and firefighters, and sending families racing from their homes.

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

The resort is one of the most in-demand locations in California for Hollywood stars seeking privacy and luxury, and has been home to Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt and a host of other celebrities.

The fire rapidly climbed into the Santa Monica Mountains and raced toward the coast.

The Woolsey fire was one of three ravaging the state, with the northern California town of Paradise in Butte County largely destroyed overnight.

Toxic smoke is reported as far as 240 kilometers (150 miles) away, shrouding the San Francisco Bay Area and our office located there.

The National Weather Service issued red-flag warnings for fire dangers in many areas of the state, saying low humidity and strong winds were expected to continue through Friday evening.

When the sun rose Thursday over Paradise, Calif., the small town of 27,000 awoke to find the world looking largely as it always had.

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Thousands of cars stood bumper to bumper, trying to ply their way slowly south to safer parts - all while a bank of thick gray smoke crept over the horizon. "All residents must evacuate immediately". Around the same time, flames appeared south of Chico, jumping across Highway 99 and burning on both sides of the road. But winds that drove the ferocious flames have eased. Her father, a lineman for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, was called in from another district to help shut down power, she said. "It was chaos. I couldn't believe what people were doing".

The full extent of the destruction in the county was still unknown, but authorities said they believe as many as 2,000 buildings have been destroyed - most of those in Paradise.

Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom has also declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles, Ventura and Butte counties.

Also burning in Ventura County was the Hill Fire, which had scorched about 2428ha on Friday morning, Lorenzen said.

The fire has also reportedly destroyed one of the sets for the TV series Westworld.

Hear more from Bass and see footage of the devastation above. The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the fire is headed to the ocean, punctuating the message with the declaration: "Imminent threat!" About 75,000 homes have been evacuated in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to two fires in the region.

In Southern California, two separate fires have consumed about 18,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. I can't think anything matters more - packing "items" seems odd.

In Hidden Hills, just north of Calabasas, Adrienne Janic gave her home over to firefighters late Thursday to use as a command center. Herrera, who lives in Paradise with her 88-year-old husband Lou Herrera, left a frantic voicemail at around 9:30 a.m. saying they needed to get out.

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