Death toll climbs as Northern California wildfire spreads

Clay Curtis
November 10, 2018

The fire earlier ripped through Paradise, about 30 kilometres east of Chico. "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday".

Earlier, the fire devastated the town of Paradise in the Sierra foothills, home to 26,000 people.

"We were surrounded by fire".

Among those force to flee the Woolsey Fire, which had charred some 35,000 acres (14,164 hectares) as of Friday afternoon, were celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian, who said on Twitter flames had damaged the home she shares in nearby Calabasas with Kanye West.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for residents of Malibu, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village, Agoura and other unincorporated areas of L.A. County. The blaze sent residents fleeing, and now threatens the city of Chico, home to 90,000 people.

BFD spokesperson Keith May said BFD is sending one engine to assist the City of Oakland as its fire department responds to a fire on Highway 13, just south of Joaquin Miller Road.

The winds calmed down in the valley, but they were still shifting and erratic, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kph) along ridge tops, he said.

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. "It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us".

Resident Shari Bernacett told the Associated Press that she "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to get mobile home residents to leave as fire consumed the hillside. "It's that kind of devastation", he said.

Three fast-moving wildfires burned in California on Friday morning, including one that spurred the evacuation of 75,000 homes near a city that was still reeling from a mass shooting.

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I think that is untouchable but what is behind [the scenes] I can not say. "They have incredible talent up front and in the middle as well".

Since the fire ignited, at least nine people have been confirmed dead, almost 6,500 homes and 90,000 acres have burned and about 30,000 residents have evacuated, media reports said.

The fire in Paradise was reported shortly after daybreak Thursday.

The fire is already the fourth most destructive wildfire in state history, but those numbers are nearly certain to increase once officials survey the area more completely.

"We've spoken to our pastors, and they're all safe, and as far as they know, so are their congregants", says Bret Allen, district superintendent for the Northern California and Nevada district. Evacuation centers were set up at Palisades High School and at Taft High School in Woodland Hills.

"Things started exploding", Oviedo said. Miller at first scoffed at the notion of getting back in a vehicle. Seven burned out Mercedes chassis are all that's left of Ernst Mercedes Specialist lot.

"This event was the worst-case scenario".

A total of 6,453 homes had been destroyed in Paradise and elsewhere, Honea said, along with 260 commercial buildings.

Chico police officer John Barker and his partner evacuated several elderly people from an apartment complex.

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out".

"My daughter's going out for the gold nugget queen this year", said Harvey, then she paused.

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