Nine dead as California fires continue to rage

A home burns during the Camp fire in Paradise in Northern California on Nov. 8 2018

Scott McLean, a spokesman for Cal Fire, said the fire in Northern California's Butte County has "destroyed the town". "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday".

Tens of thousands of people are under mandatory evacuation orders and Palley says that the fires in the Santa Monica Mountains, above Malibu, have developed so fast that numerous roads there have become impassable even to firefighters.

Malibu is less than 20 miles away from Thousand Oaks, a town that is still reeling from Wednesday's mass shooting where former US Marine combat veteran Ian Long opened fire in a bar packed with college students, killing 12 people.

The Butte County Sheriff's office said the victims had been burned to death in their cars and could not immediately be identified.

Rural areas fared little better.

The resort is one of the most in-demand locations in California for Hollywood stars seeking privacy and luxury, and has been home to Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt and a host of other celebrities. Several evacuation centers were set up in nearby towns. "It's that kind of devastation", he said.

By Thursday night, a shelter at the Neighborhood Church shelter in Chico was full and authorities were directing people to the Oroville Nazarene Church and the Butte County Fairgrounds. That was all before the Camp Fire escalated rapidly Thursday, changing the lives of not just the football team at Paradise, but the entire community forever.

"It was absolutely dark", said resident Mike Molloy, who said he made a decision based on the wind to leave Thursday morning, packing only the minimum and joining a sea of other vehicles. "The fire moved so fast and grew so fast a lot of people got caught by it". Miller jumped in her boyfriend's rickety pickup truck, which was low on gas and equipped with a bad transmission. She instantly found herself stuck in gridlock.

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In a Facebook post, she wrote her goodbye to her family and friends. While walking, a stranger in the traffic jam rolled down her window and asked Miller if she needed help. Miller at first she scoffed at the notion of getting back in a stopped vehicle. "I can't see, and maybe I should humble myself and get in this woman's auto".

Five miles north of Paradise, Tisha Aroyo and her grandfather stayed behind.

Officials said at least three firefighters have been injured on the job and that 3,223 firefighters are working this fire.

"We're trying to get as many people out as quickly as possible and save as many lives as we can", he said.

The fire forced the evacuation of patients from Paradise's main hospital to hospitals in Oroville and Chico.

"The magnitude of the destruction we're seeing is really unbelievable and heartbreaking", Ghilarducci said. I've linked to both of them and provided descriptions below.

The fire is being driven west by 35 miles per hour (56 kmh) winds, fire officials said. Fire officials said it was also moving toward the ocean.

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