Dead, 150000 evacuated as new wildfires hit California

Nurse Cassie Lerossignol hugs as coworker as the Feather River Hospital burns while the Camp Fire rages through Paradise Calif. on Thursday Nov. 8 2018

Tens of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire Thursday in Northern California, some clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the flames that forced the evacuation of an entire town.

The Butte County Coroner's Office has formed an interagency team to investigate and identify additional fatalities, according to the release. A list compiled by a local news affiliate reports a growing number of missing people after almost the entire town of Paradise, population roughly 30,000, has been destroyed.

In the fire's first three hours, the fire grew to 5,000 acres, burning an area the size of a football field every three seconds in that period. This means some phone numbers are down.

Voluntary evacuations of 75,000 homes had already been called for because of the Woolsey fire that affected parts of Thousand Oaks, the site of a shooting massacre this week.

One fire that broke out near the northeast corner of Los Angeles has roared westward, jumped us 101 in the Calabasas area and is surging up the Santa Monica Mountains.

Eleanor Southwick, 78, evacuated Paradise as the devastating Camp Fire hit the northern California city on Thursday.

A series of wildfires raging through Southern California have threatened thousands of homes this week, including those of multiple celebrities.

Thousands of people were evacuated from Paradise, home to 26,000 people, including from schools and hospitals. The Hill fire pushed through canyons to the edge of Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands, both of which were evacuated.

Fueled by high winds and low humidity, the fire has placed millions of people under red flag warnings.

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Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the fire is heading towards the ocean, punctuating the message with the declaration: "Imminent threat!" Herrera, who lives in Paradise with her 88-year-old husband, Lou, left a frantic voicemail at around 9:30 a.m. saying they needed to get out.

"There was really no firefight involved", said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, adding that responders instead helped to get people out alive.

In Southern California there are now two fires in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties threatening structures and forcing evacuations. CBS in Sacramento reported at 7:02 a.m. that a spokesperson for CAL FIRE said the fire had grown to about 70,000 acres.

Residents who managed to escape Paradise posted harrowing videos to social media as they drove through tunnels of swirling smoke and orange flames to outrun the wildfire in the Butte County town, north of Sacramento.

Powered by Santa Ana winds and dry air, the Woolsey Fire - which erupted Thursday afternoon in Ventura County before it raced into Los Angeles County - chewed its way through brush and into neighborhoods of Westlake Village, Malibu, and Oak Park. This one is just to the east of that city, part of which was evacuated.

A third wildfire was also expanding in Southern California's Ventura County.

Officials said there were two separate incidents of looting amid the fire that led to arrest, including one that led to a police pursuit.

The Woolsey Fire was burning northeast of Thousand Oaks, not far from where a shooting killed 12 people late Wednesday night.

Wind gusts of up to 77 miles per hour were reported in Los Angeles County on Friday morning.

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