Death toll climbs as Northern California wildfire spreads

Geneva Stokes
November 10, 2018

People are now staying in shelters in the town of Chico, some 14 miles away. "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday".

One manager of a mobile home park said her husband had struggled to alert as many residents as possible to the fire, hammering on doors and screaming for people to leave. "It's always been Paradise, and we will bring it back". "I'm driving through fire as we speak". Cars and trucks, some with trailers attached, were left on the roadside as evacuees ran for their lives, said Bass, the police officer.

NASA Massive plumes of smoke billow Friday over the state.

Fire officials have also issued evacuation notices for parts of Chico, a town of 93,000 people north of Sacramento.

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.

Strong winds were expected in the mountains and valleys of Ventura County and in coastal areas, the NWS said. The brush fire has already caused mandatory evacuations on Friday in Malibu, California. "I'm devastated." "We're just hoping that our brand new home that we were hoping to move into tomorrow is not burned to the ground", Winstead said.

Firefighters said that "pretty much all of the community", which is 180 miles north-east of San Francisco, had been destroyed. "It's that kind of devastation", he said.

Meanwhile, portions of Southern California remained under siege early Friday as two large fires threatened numerous Ventura County communities.

"It is critical that residents pay close attention to evacuation orders", the Los Angeles County Fire Department said on Twitter. Per USA Today, the three fires stretched a combined area of 33,000 acres as of Friday.

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The wildfire was reported around daybreak.

Further north, another huge wild fire destroyed the town of Paradise, leaving nine people dead and 35 missing.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference on Friday that the remains of five victims were found in or near burnt-out cars. "It's all hands on deck to rescue people and get people out of harm's way".

There is now a large animal evacuation center set up at the Zuma Beach parking lot in Malibu and another at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, according to the alert.

By 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Paradise resident Tanah Clunies-Ross said she could not see her vehicle from her front door through the cloud of smoke. "People started getting out of their vehicles and running". After an hour of no movement, she abandoned the truck and made a decision to try her luck on foot.

"This event was the worst-case scenario".

"There's nothing left standing", said Scott Maclean, the state's forestry and fire protection spokesman.

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.

"Most of them were immobile, with walkers or spouses that were bedridden, so we were trying to get additional units to come and try and help us, just taking as many as we could", he said.

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