California wildfires destroy thousands of structures and force emergency evacuations

Long Beach Fire Department strike team sent to battle Hill Fire in Ventura • Long Beach Post

Down the road from the Thousand Oaks shooting, people are being evacuated because of a wildfire

About two-thirds of the city of Malibu was ordered evacuated early Friday as a ferocious Southern California's wildfire roared toward the beachside community that is home for many Hollywood celebrities.

Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate, but there were no injuries to residents or firefighters, said Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Dave Richardson.

Just 12 minutes after it started Thursday afternoon, the flames spread across United States 101, leaving several drivers temporarily stranded.

The brush fire ignited near Hill Canyon in Camarillo at 2:04 p.m., according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

Voluntary evacuations have been added in Ventura County for Lake Sherwood and the area south of Hwy 101 and north of Potrero Road between Westlake Boulevard and Wendy Drive in Thousand Oaks.

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About 1,000 structures have been reportedly destroyed, a lot of them in Paradise, a town of about 26,000 people that has been virtually wiped out by the exploding blaze, reports and photos show.

"We thought the fire was going to kill us", she told CNN.

CAL Fire reports the fire is 8,000 acres at this time.

So far, 14,000 acres of land have been burned by the fires and that number keeps growing.

"There was really no firefight involved", said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up on attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate.

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Thirty-thousand people have been evacuated so far and the number of evacuees is expected to rise as embers push ahead of the fire. Local news reporter Tom Wait of CBS2 described the fire as "apocalyptic" with ember and ash raining down from the flames.

The latest numbers estimate the Hill fire has burned over 10,000 acres. She's been in the home since 2015.

Firefighters are challenged by residents moving about evacuation areas and high traffic as they follow the fire front.

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

Officials say the fast-moving Camp Fire decimated the town of Paradise (population 27,000) yesterday afternoon.

A separate massive blaze raging in Northern California since Thursday morning has almost quadrupled in size overnight, according to one Californian fire official. The north and southbound lanes of the 101 freeway near Santa Rosa Road. The Santa Anas are strong, dry winds that high-pressure systems push from east to west, from the mountains and desert areas down into the Los Angeles area.

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Winds calmed in some areas and intensified in others Friday morning, National Weather Service forecasts show.

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