California wildfires force hundreds of thousands to evacuate, claim lives


About two-thirds of the city of Malibu was ordered evacuated early Friday as a ferocious wildfire roared toward the beachside community that is home to about 13,000 residents, some of them Hollywood celebrities.

Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate, but there were no injuries to residents or firefighters, said Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Dave Richardson.

The Woolsey Fire was originally reported just south of Simi Valley and about 25 miles southwest of Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people enjoying country line dancing at college night before killing himself.

Also in Ventura County, a brush fire broke out about 2 p.m. Thursday and grew to 6,000 acres by Friday morning.

About 1,000 structures have been reportedly destroyed, majority in Paradise, a town of about 26,000 people that has been virtually wiped out by the exploding blaze, reports and photos show.

As of Thursday evening, it was burning above Cal State University Channel Islands, in the footprint of the 2013 Springs Fire which burned 24,000 acres.

As a result of the fire jumping the freeway, the City of Malibu was placed under mandatory evacuation orders, an emergency alert stated. The fast-moving Woolsey Fire had burned more than 14,000 acres Friday.

Captain Scott McLean, from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the Camp Fire had grown to almost 110 square miles after devouring the town of Paradise.

Tanah Clunies-Ross woke up in the dark to what sounded like lumps of coal raining down on her Northern California home. "I pray everyone is safe", she wrote.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Calabasas home as well as Caitlyn Jenner's in Malibu have both been hit by the devastating wildfires overtaking Southern California, it has been reported.

Here's another escape video, driving through a burning neighborhood.

The Hill Fire is the other fire burning near the site of this week's mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. In Southern California there are now two fires in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties threatening structures and forcing evacuations.

Residents posted on social media to share their views of the flames almost consuming the hillside in the Newbury Park area of western Thousand Oaks.

More than 2,000 fire officials among 59 crews were working to contain the fire as of Friday morning.

Wind gusts of up to 77 miles per hour were reported in Los Angeles County on Friday morning. It's near Hill Canyon Road and Santa Rosa Road in the Santa Rosa Valley.

Winds were expected to weaken Friday afternoon into Saturday.