Tens of Thousands Evacuate as Wildfires Char California Towns

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"The town is devastated, everything is destroyed", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) spokesman Scott Maclean, referring to Paradise, which has a population of 26,000.

Dozens of other people were reported missing.

The warm Santa Ana winds remained strong Friday morning, with gusts as high as 70 miles per hour forecast in certain regions around the two southern fires.

Paradise, almost 145 kilometers north of Sacramento, was home to more than 26,000 residents, according to its website.

The burned out hulks of cars abandoned by their drivers sit along a road, November 9, 2018, in Paradise, Calif.

Fire officials have also issued evacuation notices for parts of Chico, a town of 93,000 people north of Sacramento. He evacuated his family and then returned to the fire to help rescue several disabled residents, including a man trying to carry his bedridden wife to safety.

A fierce wildfire is burning through Southern California's upscale beach resort of Malibu - home to many Hollywood stars - destroying buildings and forcing residents to flee. At one point, the Camp Fire was consuming 80 football fields worth of land per minute, fueled by winds of up to 50 mph. Among those evacuated were all of the patients at the Feather River Hospital in Paradise. More than 2,200 firefighters have been dispatched to the scene, including several crews from the Bay Area.

A fast-moving wildfire that ravaged a Northern California town Thursday sent residents racing to escape on roads that turned into tunnels of fire as thick smoke darkened the daytime sky, wiping out what a Cal Fire official said was a couple of thousand structures. The Butte County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday at least five people have died. "All of it is engulfed in flames right now". There's nothing much left standing.

"They will continue to save homes and do whatever they can until the work is done", L.A. County Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Trey Espy told CBS2. "It's like we're all walking around kind of in a trance". The fire was first reported around 6:30 a.m., and over just a few hours, the fire grew from 10 acres to more than 10,000. He said there are also injuries.

In Los Angeles, another, smaller fire in Griffith Park forced the Los Angeles Zoo to evacuate a number of show birds and some small primates on Friday as flames came within less than 2 miles (3 km) of the facility, zoo officials said in a statement.

"This is a very unsafe wind driven fire".

Some 95,000 residents have been evacuated in Ventura County alone, the county's fire department said on Twitter on Friday night.

Kim Kardashian, Alyssa Milano and Melissa Etheridge were among thousands fleeing from their homes. On Instagram she urged people to "pray for Calabasas". My children are safe.

Cathy Fallon wipes her face beside her son Gabriel Fallon as she stands near the charred remains of her home Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Paradise, California.

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro tweeted that he had abandoned his vast "Bleak House" museum collection of fantasy and horror memorabilia, while singer Etheridge said she had moved into a hotel.