Update: California Fires - 300,000 Residents Flee Most Destructive Fires In California History
Evacuees turned away from overflowing shelters as 300K residents flee California wildfires
- Officials say two bodies were found badly burned in a car in Malibu driveway after Woolsey Fire tore through
- Communities across Ventura and Los Angeles counties including Malibu, Calabasas and the Topanga Canyon area were placed under mandatory evacuation orders on Friday as the Woolsey and Hill fires approached
- The fires have torched nearly 75,000 acres in Southern California since igniting on Thursday afternoon
- In Northern California, the Camp Fire has burned 105k acres in Butte County north of Sacramento
- Camp Fire killed nine and 35 are missing after the blaze raged through town of Paradise destroying the town
- It is now the most destructive fire in California history and may have started from electric line malfunction
- The three fires fueled by another strong burst of Santa Ana winds are expected rage on through the weekend
- President Trump approved an emergency declaration on Friday sending federal funds to California
Two casualties have been reported in the twin infernos raging across 100 square miles in Southern California, bringing the number of wildfire deaths in the state during the last two days to 11.
Police say the two bodies were discovered 'severely burned inside of a stopped vehicle' on a long driveway in a sparsely populated stretch of Mulholland Highway in Malibu on Saturday, after the Woolsey Fire tore through the area, forcing half a million people to evacuate.
Los Angeles County sheriff's Chief John Benedict declined to offer additional details about the fatalities pending an official investigation.
The first two known deaths in the Woolsey and Hill fires came one day after nine people were reported dead in the Camp Fire several hundred miles north in Butte County.
Earlier on Saturday the Los Angeles Times reported that evacuees were being turned away from overflowing shelters while firefighters continued their tireless efforts to bring the infernos under control.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said the 'extreme, tough fire conditions' have been worse than the emergency crews 'have never seen in their life', while residents describe the situation as 'hell'.
Communities across Ventura and Los Angeles counties including the city of Malibu, Calabasas and the Topanga Canyon area were placed under evacuation orders on Friday as the Woolsey and Hill fires razed countless buildings and homes to the ground.
More than 600 members of law enforcement canvassed the area through Friday night, pounding on doors to tell a quarter of a million residents to leave their homes as the fires closed in, covering more nearly 75,000 acres as of Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, the Camp Fire in Northern California, now the most destructive in state history, has claimed the lives of at least nine people and another 35 are missing.
The devastating fire almost entirely wiped out the town of Paradise when it tore across Butte County on Thursday and Friday, sending some 50,000 people running for their lives.
Meteorologists warn that strengthening westward winds could push the blaze toward the state capital in Sacramento.
The larger of the two southern blazes, the Woolsey Fire, ignited near Rocketdyne at around 2pm local time Thursday, quickly spreading southwest toward Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, the community still reeling from a mass shooting in a bar on Wednesday night.
As of Saturday morning the Woolsey Fire was reportedly still zero percent contained and had covered 70,000 acres as it continues its march up the oceans edge after crossing the Pacific Coast Highway overnight.
To the west of the Woolsey Fire a second, smaller blaze dubbed the Hill Fire has torched almost 5,000 acres in Ventura County after igniting at around the same time in Hill Canyon on Thursday afternoon.
Cal Fire announced the Hill Fire was 25 percent contained as of 8.30am local time on Saturday.
The southern blazes have not yet killed or injured anyone, but have destroyed many homes and forced thousands to flee for their lives on short notice - including many celebrities who live in the wealthy coastal enclaves under threat.
During a Friday afternoon news conference, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby urged people to obey evacuation orders, saying: 'I can only imagine the impact of being asked to leave your home. But we’re doing it for your safety.'
Source: Update: California Fires - 300,000 Residents Flee Most Destructive Fires In California History