City of Malibu ordered to evacuate as flames jump Hwy 101

10 November, 2018, 01:54 | Author: Donna Miller
  • Large fire threatens Ventura County communities 101 Freeway closed hundreds evacuated

Residents of the beachside city of Malibu have been ordered to evacuate as three fast-moving wildfires raged in California on Friday morning, including one that also spurred the evacuation of 75,000 homes near a city that was still reeling from a mass shooting.

Mandatory evacuations are in placed for various parts of Los Angeles County as the fire spreads towards the Santa Monica Mountains.

Fire officials initially ordred the evacuation of all 13,000 residents of the community, which stretches 21 miles along the ocean, but later scaled it back to the western two-thirds of the city.

"There was really no firefight involved", said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up on attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate.

Just 12 minutes after it started Thursday afternoon, the flames spread across the 101 Freeway, leaving several drivers temporarily stranded.

Drought and wind conditions have given California a flawless "recipe for fire", said Chad Cook, the Ventura County Fire Department assistant chief.

However there were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries. Fire engines were not able to reach the fire, and firefighters were forced to hike in on foot and hose down vulnerable areas, while a firefighting helicopter hovered overhead.

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At least five people have died in wildfires spreading across California that have destroyed thousands of structures and sent people fleeing as towns and forests throughout the state burn.

The swift-moving Camp Fire, raging about 80 miles north of Sacramento, consumed Paradise, and moved Friday morning into the eastern side of Chico, a city with a population of around 90,000.

A second fire has been burning in the Santa Rosa Valley east of Camarillo, west of Simi Valley near Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks.

"I feel very vulnerable posting this but I feel I should", Chatfield wrote on Facebook.

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said a "very significant, risky weather pattern" would continue through the end of the weekend. So far, it has burned through 20,000 acres, injured firefighters and residents, and prompted hospitals and schools to quickly evacuate. By mid-morning Friday it had burned over 14,000 acres and an untold number of homes.

Only a day after it began, the fire near the town of Paradise had grown to almost 110 square miles (285 square kilometers). The highway is expected to remain closed Friday morning, Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said.

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