Apocalyptic scenes, nine dead as wildfire rips through California

 news.com.au  11/10/2018 04:32:05  3

CALFORNIA’S Sheriff has confirmed nine people have died in fires that have engulfed the Southern part of the state.

A recent update from the LA County Fire Department confirmed the fire had zero percent containment at this stage.

More than 200,000 residents of the area and 75,000 homes are currently under mandatory evacuation.

#WoolseyFire *UPDATE* Approx. 35,000 acres, 0% contained, very significant number of homes in the operational area damaged or destroyed by fire. More than 200,000 residents and 75,000 homes under mandatory evacuation. 0700 @CAL_FIRE type 1 IMT 5 will assume command of this fire. pic.twitter.com/Iiz7m15ZWm

— LACounty Fire PIO (@LACoFDPIO) November 10, 2018

Some of the victims have been found in their homes, others in their cars. They have not yet been able to be formally identified.

The fire has been confirmed as the worst the state has ever encountered, having grown to a size of 362 square kilometres within a single day.

As thousands are forced from their homes and numerous highways are shut down, residents have taken to social media to document large fires and unusual cloud formations.

End of Days? #WoolseyFire #Malibu pic.twitter.com/oMYPc1dTiQ

— Jason Rodriguez (@JROD56) November 9, 2018

California has been granted federal funds by US President Donald Trump to battle the flames as they continue to spread.

The President has issued an emergency declaration providing aid to help state and local firefighters battling blazes in Butte, Ventura and other Los Angeles counties.

Apocalyptic scenes surround them as they flee for their lives, thousands of homes reportedly burning across numerous neighbourhoods including Malibu, Paradise, Oak Park and Thousand Oaks.

The fire currently is showing no signs of slowing, with a reported 2000 firefighters attempting to bring the blaze under control. Many highways have been closed making mass evacuations difficult. Residents have taken to social media to document the apocalyptic scenes around them as they run for their lives.

Rare fire clouds are rising over the Golden State as an enormous fire ravages thousands of homes, leaving tens of thousands affected. The formations, often caused by volcanic eruptions, are called pyrocumulus clouds and are extraordinarily rare.

Social media users have shared harrowing videos of the fire, which appeared to collide with a storm becoming a “firenado”.

Apocalyptic scenes show a ‘firenado’ swirling amid a scorched part of Butte County in California, as the Camp Fire that forced thousands to evacuate rages on. Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze. https://t.co/ancYvmX8BX pic.twitter.com/5R53C4RB7y

— CNN (@CNN) November 9, 2018

Hollywood power couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been evacuated from their home in Hidden Hills as the wildfire continues to spread and threatens a plethora of celebrity homes in the gated neighbourhood, which lies in the suburb of Calabasas.

Kardashian and other members of her family have been posting to social media as they were evacuated from their homes throughout the night. It was reported the fires reached her home but it’s unclear if the dwelling survived.

Caitlyn Jenner earlier lost her home as the fire has spread from the suburb of Paradise to Malibu, according to TMZ.

The wildfire has incinerated most of a town of about 30,000 people with flames that moved so fast there was nothing firefighters could do, authorities say.

The fire quickly grew into the state’s most destructive blaze in at least a century.

With fires also burning in Southern California, state officials put the total number of people forced from their homes at about 250,000.

Evacuation orders included the entire city of Malibu, which is home to 13,000, among them some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

US President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds for Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

When Paradise was evacuated, the order set off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got stuck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee on foot.

People reported seeing much of the community go up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement centre. Rural areas fared little better. Many homes have propane tanks that were exploding amid the flames.

The wind-driven flames also spread to the west and reached Chico, a city of 90,000 people.

Evacuees from Paradise sat in stunned silence on Friday outside a Chico church where they took refuge the night before. They all had harrowing tales of a slow- motion escape from a fire so close they could feel the heat inside their vehicles as they sat stuck in a terrifying traffic jam.

When the order came to evacuate, it was like the entire town of 27,000 residents decided to leave at once, they said. Fire surrounded the evacuation route, and drivers panicked. Some crashed and others left their vehicles by the roadside. Officials said all the victims were found in Paradise, including four who died inside their vehicles.

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