CBS/AP November 9, 2018, 12:06 PM
A wildfire destroyed most of a Northern California town of 27,000 people. A Cal Fire spokesman said “there’s nothing much left standing” in Paradise.
Fire officials believe some people were killed, and two more fires north of Los Angeles have forced the evacuation of some 75,000 homes. In Northern California, the so-called “Camp Fire” covers more than 20,000 acres and threatens another 15,000 or more buildings.
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Camp Fire nearly quadruples in size
A California fire official said the Camp Fire nearly quadrupled in size overnight. Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire near the town of Paradise has grown to 70,000 acres, which is nearly 110 square miles.
Southern California fire forces evacuations in Malibu
About two-thirds of the city of Malibu was ordered evacuated early Friday as the so-called “Woolsey Fire” roared toward the beachside community that is home for many Hollywood celebrities. Malibu officials initially said the order issued early Friday applied to the entire city before reducing the order’s scope.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the fire raging through the Santa Monica Mountains was headed to the ocean. Malibu has about 13,000 residents and lies along 21 miles of coast at the southern foot of the mountain range.
“Imminent threat!” the department said in its warning. The erupted Thursday near the northwest corner of the city of Los Angeles as the region’s notorious Santa Ana winds gusted, triggering overnight evacuations of an estimated 75,000 homes in western Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County.
The fire then pushed southward, jumped the wide U.S. 101 freeway before dawn Friday and pushed into the Santa Monica range. Meanwhile, the so-called “Hill Fire” was burning farther west in Ventura County and was also moving toward the ocean.
“Heavenly father, please help us”
Surrounded by walls of flames whipped by winds of 50 mph, people drove through hell trying to escape, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports from Paradise. “Heavenly father, please help us,” a woman said on a video while driving on a road bookended by flames.
The Camp Fire exploded in intensity, filling the sky with toxic smoke that could be seen from San Francisco, which is nearly 150 miles away. “Everything is burning up around us,” a woman said on a video posted to Facebook.
There was very little time for the 27,000 people who live in Paradise to evacuate. “We grabbed our animals and some food and some clothes, and we’re getting the heck out of here,” Kevin Winstead of Paradise told CBS Chico affiliate KHSL-TV.