Paradise lost after fire consumes Northern California town

A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise Calif. on Thursday Nov. 8 2018

Further north, another huge wildfire destroyed the town of Paradise, leaving nine people dead and 35 missing. One broke out close to the Borderline Bar & Grill, where a gunman killed 12 people attending college night at the country bar.

It also shows smoke from the Hill and Woolsey Fires in southern California, which by Saturday morning had burned 4,531 acres and about 70,000 acres, respectively. And it is just one of several major wildfires now cutting a fiery path through the state.

Firefighters used the lull to attempt to rein in the powerful blaze that had grown to 109 square miles (282 square kilometers), and to try to get a grasp of how much damage it did in its first two days. The fire was burning on the south side of the freeway in areas that were evacuated hours earlier.

The bodies of two people were discovered in Malibu but it was too early to determine if they died from fire or another cause, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Elsewhere in Ventura County, mere miles to the west, another wildfire ignited within an hour of the Woolsey Fire. The Hill Fire has the southbound 101 closed at Pleasant Valley Road in Camarillo, and the northbound open at SR-23.

Wildfires burned out of control on Friday across California, killing at least nine people in a mountain town and forcing residents to flee the upscale beach community of Malibu in the face of a monster fire storm.

On Thursday, 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.

Butte County Sheriff's Office said an evacuation ordered had been issued for the small communities of Stirling City and Inskip.

Families described the scenes of panic and terror during their escape.

Forecasts predict continued windy and dry conditions through the weekend, particularly in the northern part of the state, paired with low humidity, a lack of precipitation, and dry vegetation, which are expected to make fire danger worse in some of California's most populated areas.

"I heard the flames have hit our property at our home in Hidden Hills but now are more contained and have stopped at the moment", she said on Twitter.

To the south, hundreds of firefighters have their own hands full with the Woolsey and Hill blazes.

It was reported Friday evening that a number of houses on Woolsey Canyon Road were "fully involved", firefighter vernacular for engulfed in fire.

"The president's message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines". The National Weather Service does not expect the gusts to subside until later in the day.

School officials told the students that they have been assured by fire officials that the university's buildings were built to withstand fire.

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