Arizona firefighters head to California to fight Woolsey, Camp and Hill fires
Nov 14, 2018, 00:43
President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for the state Friday, but tweeted Saturday morning a threat to pull funding in the future over "gross mismanagement".
In less than two days, the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire, which is also burning in Southern California, prompted evacuation orders for more than 250,000 people.
"It is critical that residents pay close attention to evacuation orders", the Los Angeles County Fire Department said on Twitter. According to officials five people of the dead were found in cars in a town that was destroyed by the Camp Fire in the north of California.
Firefighters have saved thousands of homes despite working in "extreme, tough fire conditions that they said they have never seen in their life", Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.
"This event was the worst-case scenario".
Butte County Sheriff Korey Honea said Friday that three people were found outside homes and four people inside vehicles. "Regrettably, not everybody made it out". His tweet Saturday morning seems to suggest he may withhold federal assistance for future wildfires. He added that "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!" he said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Chief John Benedict said the charred remains of two people were found in a auto in Malibu, but homicide investigators were still working the case.
Another 35 people had been reported missing and three firefighters had been injured. In Northern California, a visible by satellite consumed the town of Paradise on Thursday and had burned almost 110 square miles by Friday morning.
A fierce wildfire is burning through Southern California's upscale beach resort of Malibu - home to many Hollywood stars - destroying buildings and forcing residents to flee.
Some 150 homes had been burned and the number was expected to rise, he said. "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday".
When Paradise was evacuated, the order triggered a desperate exodus which saw motorists get stuck in gridlocked traffic and abandon their vehicles to flee on foot. Authorities said investigators believed the driver became disoriented and the auto was overcome by fire.
The wind-driven flames also spread to the west and reached Chico, a city of 90,000 people. The flames turned what it touched to ash as it forced a citywide Malibu evacuation and sent residents scrambling to find a way out of the burn area.
Lady Gaga, Martin Sheen and Kim Kardashian West were among the celebrities who joined thousands of others in evacuating from the affluent coastal city that is as well-known as its residents.
Mark Ghilarducci, of the California governor's office, said: "The magnitude of the destruction of the fire is unbelievable and heartbreaking". "Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", said Cal Fire Captain Scott McLean.
"It was devastating out here in Malibu", Jenner said.
Elsewhere, the Hill Fire in Ventura County's Santa Rosa Valley had charred about 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) as of Friday evening, according to Cal Fire.
The flames burned down more than 6,700 buildings, nearly all of them homes, making it California's most destructive wildfire since record-keeping began.
Meanwhile, the acreage for the Hill Fire, which erupted Thursday in the Thousand Oaks area, was estimated at 4,531 acres.
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In total, there are now 14 wildfires blazing in California and acting governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency . Rescuers could be seen removing remains over a period of several hours in Paradise and placing them in a black hearse.
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