Woolsey Fire burns 8,000 acres; 75K homes under evacuation orders

It brings to 11 the number of people who have now died in fires in the past few days, with nine already killed in a Northern California wildfire. He said another victim was found near a vehicle but outside it.

The fire, known as the Camp Fire, evolved quickly into the fiercest of the wind-driven fires now plaguing California in what has been one of the worst years for wildfires in the state.

The Woolsey Fire, broke out on Thursday, not too far from the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people enjoying country line dancing at college night before killing himself. "The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out". Firefighters carried people from homes and put them in empty seats of their neighbours' cars, said Carol Napoli, 74.

Among the properties destroyed by the Woolsey Fire was the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, where hundreds of movies and television shows, including HBO's "Westworld", have been filmed, stretching back to the 1920s.

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 fire now covers an area of about 35,000 acres (14,150 hectares).

About 250,000 people have been ordered to leave their homes in the face of the Hill and Woolsey fires in southern California, including the city of Malibu, home to a number of Hollywood celebrities.

He said he evacuated his family and then returned to the fire to help rescue several disabled residents, including a man carrying his bedridden wife to safety. "I pray everyone is safe", she said.

"I was frantic", she said.

Some insurers are also choosing to stop renewing coverage for homes that aren't even in high-risk areas, but are near potentially flammable wildlife, like a brush, she added.

Director Guillermo del Toro tweeted that Bleak House, his museum of horror movie memorabilia, was also in the path of the flames.

Authorities used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out the way to reach Feather River Hospital and evacuate patients as flames engulfed its old wing and the roof of the emergency department, Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter told reporters.

CALFIRE has released its first damage estimates for the Camp Fire.

Residents who managed to escape Paradise posted harrowing videos to social media as they drove through tunnels of swirling smoke and orange flames to outrun the wildfire in the Butte County town, north of Sacramento.

Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean told the Associated Press earlier Friday, "Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation".

In a single day, the Sierra Nevada foothill town of 27,000 was largely incinerated by flames that moved so fast there was nothing firefighters could do.

L.A. County Sheriff's Department Chief John Benedict confirmed the fatalities at a news conference, but the cause of death has not been released, KTLA reported.


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