Crews battle California blazes, including state's most destructive


(Affected areas include the iconic coastline of Malibu; the town of Paradise, which was totally destroyed; and Thousand Oaks, which experienced a mass shooting earlier this week that left 12 dead.) It is estimated that a quarter of a million people overall have had to evacuate. Acting Governor Gavin Newsom called a state of emergency in Butte County.

Butte County Sheriff Korey Honea said four people were found dead inside a vehicle in the Paradise area, while another was found nearby.

Flames spread so quickly that firefighters couldn't be everywhere at once, and many residents to take matters into their own hands.

Officials said better weather was helping them gain ground.

The Camp Fire has destroyed 6,453 homes and 260 commercial buildings in the area around Paradise, making it the most destructive to buildings in state history, surpassing the Tubbs Fire, which destroyed 5,636 structures in Napa and Sonoma counties a year ago.

"Beverly Hills, 90210" star Doherty said her "heart is ripped apart" by the loss of a Malibu home where she and husband Kurt Iswarienko were married in 2011, posting on Instagram a wedding-day photo of the smiling couple on a tree-lined path at the property apparently owned by a friend. The fire consumed their home, but left the barn intact.

Crews were already assisting efforts to put out the Woolsey Fire, which has burned 70,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

As The Washington Post's Angela Fritz wrote in July, a hotter-than-average summer and dry winter have "led to tinder-dry vegetation", in areas scorched by the Carr fire during Redding, California's hottest July on record.

All the residents of Malibu, a posh oceanside enclave that is home to about 13,000 people 30 miles (50 km) west of downtown Los Angeles, were told to get out on Friday.

President Donald Trump has blamed "poor" forest management for the fires. Trump says "billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"

Two people have died in Southern California fires, bringing the death toll from massive blazes raging across the state to 11, according to authorities. This one is just to the east of that city, part of which was evacuated.

"We heard this was coming so we set up on the sprinklers and we hosed the whole house down", said Patrick Henry, a Malibu resident. "Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed".

Caitlyn Jenner marked herself as safe but said the fate of her home is "up in the air". Evacuation centers also were established at Canoga Park Senior High School at 6850 Topanga Canyon Canoga Park, at Rancho Santa Susana Recreation Center at 5005-C Los Angeles Simi Valley and at Taft High School at 5461 Winnetka Woodland Hills, although it was reported to be at capacity.

The historic Paramount Ranch, where HBO's "Westworld" and other Hollywood Westerns were shot, was also destroyed by the blaze.

Sheen ("The West Wing", "Apocalypse Now"), interviewed by a TV station on the beach Friday night after fleeing his home, said the fire was the worst he has ever seen.

Singers Lady Gaga and Cher, actors Scott Baio and Rainn Wilson, and movie director Guillermo del Toro were among those whose houses are in danger.