City Of Malibu Under Mandatory Evacuation Order As SoCal Fires Grow Overnight

Danny Woods
November 10, 2018

A wildfire that moved so fast that firefighters couldn't hope to stop it quadrupled in size Friday after destroying several thousand buildings and leveling much of a Northern California town of almost 30,000 people, authorities said.

The fire overnight jumped the 101 Freeway in the western end of Los Angeles County, forcing a shutdown of the major artery after drivers in some cases were forced to make U-turns and drive the opposite direction to avoid flames.

The Woolsey Fire erupted about 2:30 p.m. Thursday near Simi Valley in Ventura County and grew to 2,000 acres by 6 p.m.

However there were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries.

Early Friday morning, the wildfire jumped the 101 in Ventura County into Agoura Hills, closing a 4-mile stretch of the highway.

The two blazes are among 16 now active fires in California.

Surrounded by walls of flames, people drove through hell trying to escape as their homes burned to the ground.

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As another series of wildfires spread rapidly through California, more than 20 million people in the state are under red flag warnings Friday.

"I couldn't have imagined this in my worst nightmare", one resident said. The FBI was seeking to build a profile of the gunman, war veteran Ian David Long, 28, who burst into the bar late Wednesday, killing 12 people before turning the gun on himself. Some were forced to abandon their cars and sprint to safety as the intense flames closed in.

In Northern California's Butte County, a huge brush fire devasted the town of Paradise, where 1,000 structures were lost. "Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", he said. "The south side as well as the north side has been hit very hard as well". "I am hoping all of these people made it out". Next thing you know their house is on fire. I am too nervous with these fires'.

Winds are expected to die down Friday morning and firefighters said that should help for now, but they are expected to pick back up again on Sunday.

Malibu has been ordered to evacuate, as well as Oak Park, Thousand Oaks and other areas in the Highway 101 vicinity. It's already burned dozens of homes and threatens 30,000 more. Forecasters expect things to get worse today, as wind gusts will come close to 60 miles per hour amid very dry conditions.

The nearest evacuation center is at Palisades High School, located at 15777 Bowdoin St, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.

The fire then pushed southward, jumped the wide USA 101 freeway before dawn Friday and pushed into the Santa Monica range.

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