Explosive Northern California Wildfire Is Consuming 32 Hectares Of Land A Minute

Explosive Northern California Wildfire Is Consuming 32 Hectares Of Land A Minute

Nine people were declared dead and tens of thousands evacuated Friday as fierce wildfires raged across the western U.S. state of California, with one rapidly spreading blaze threatening the famed resort of Malibu.

The flames descended on Paradise so quickly that many people were forced to abandon their cars and run for their lives down the sole road through the mountain town. The extent of the injuries and damage was not immediately known.

The Chico Fire Department said: "Firefighters continue to actively engage the fire in order to protect life and property".

An incredibly risky wildfire has exploded to life in Northern California.

Residents described fleeing their homes and getting stuck in traffic jams as the flames sparked explosions and toppled utility poles.

'Things started exploding, ' said resident Gina Oviedo. She said a group of 20 other patients were initially evacuated but then returned to the facility because of gridlocked traffic.

Butte County Sheriff's Office said that four of the dead were found dead in vehicles destroyed by flames and another near a vehicle. "I'm driving through fire as we speak". We're just trying to take care of people.

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. Three others were found outside homes and one inside a home.

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"My husband tried his best to get everybody out".

She cried as she recorded video of the terrifying scene, which she posted to Facebook. "It's that kind of devastation", he said. Miller jumped in her boyfriend's rickety pickup truck, which was low on gas and equipped with a bad transmission. The fire is already the fourth most destructive wildfire in state history, but those numbers are nearly certain to increase once officials survey the area more completely. About 2000 structures were destroyed in the area, officials said. The wildfire has burned over 70,000 acres in the northern part of the state. "It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us". "I can't see, and maybe I should humble myself and get in this woman's vehicle".

The wildfire was reported around daybreak. A list compiled by a local news affiliate reports a growing number of missing people after almost the entire town of Paradise, population roughly 30,000, has been destroyed.

Elsewhere, fire officials say evacuations due to a raging Southern California wildfire are expected to reach about 148,000 and structural losses are expected to be significant.

The dry heat and limited rainfall - in some places, no rainfall at all - contributed to the fire's spread.

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With ash falling and the sky darkening to a menacing shade of black, evacuees from Paradise sat in stunned silence Friday outside a Chico church where they took refuge the night before.

More than 250,000 people have been evacuated across the areas.

Richardson estimates another 60,000 people will likely have to evacuate because the fire jumped USA 101 early Friday and is pushing toward the coast.

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