‘Ominous’ Piece of Burnt Paper Falls From Sky Amid Fast-Moving California Fire

Drift Smoke from Butte County Fire Enters Contra Costa County

Drift Smoke from Butte County Fire Enters Contra Costa County

Residents fleeing a northern California town that officials say was "destroyed" by a fast-moving wildfire were suddenly forced to abandon their vehicles in traffic and run for their lives as "things started exploding" around them.

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

The fire began around 6:33 a.m. on November 8 and swept through the area at a speed of about one football field every three seconds, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott said Friday firefighters are focused on saving lives and are still rescuing people from fires. The 101 is now closed in both directions from Las Virgenes to Reyes Adobe, an eerie site on one of SoCal's most traveled freeways.

Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California and requested a presidential disaster declaration, saying that unsafe weather conditions were expected to last several days.

"It's a very risky and very serious situation", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.

"We had to drive through flames to make it out safely", she said.

Social media was flooded with apocalyptic imagery of smoke-filled skies and horizon lines of neon orange.

The Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise evacuated all its patients and staff, given its close proximity to the fire, and transported them safely to hospitals in neighboring towns, Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman told the Associated Press.

The fire broke out near Thousand Oaks, an area about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles where an attacker killed 12 people on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of 75,000 homes.

There are multiple injuries because of the Camp Fire, Cal Fire spokesman John Gaddie said.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department issue an "imminent threat" warning and tweeted that the fire raging through the Santa Monica Mountains was headed to the ocean.

The Camp Fire destroyed businesses, homes, restaurants, supermarkets, and a retirement home, USA Today reported on November 9.

A structure is seen engulfed in flames during the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 8, 2018.

A California fire official says six major fires are burning around the state, and characterized three of them as "critical". "The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out". He described the community as having a lot of elderly residents, some with no vehicles.

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

Among them was Kim Curtis, who was searching for her grandmother, who told family at 8 a.m. Thursday that she would flee her Paradise home in her Buick with her cat.

The full extent of the destruction is still unknown but authorities believe up to 1,000 structures have been destroyed and most of those were in Paradise, a Cal Fire spokesman said.

"We never heard from them again", Lee said. "They do have a vehicle, but they both are older and can be confused at times".

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