Terrifying Video Footage Shows California Residents Fleeing Rampant Wildfires

Pauline Gross
November 13, 2018

Two monster wildfires are burning out of control in northern and southern California, having already killed at least nine people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Only a day after it began, the fire near the town of Paradise had grown to almost 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

"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. "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday".

In addition to the five people found dead in their vehicles, many were forced to abandon their cars and run for their lives down the sole road through the mountain town.

Earlier, the fire devastated the town of Paradise in the Sierra foothills, home to 26,000 people.

"We were surrounded by fire".

"A whole town was wiped out in 24 hours", Rocklin Police officer Jon Gee said.

The Woolsey Fire is seen looking towards the west valley area on November 9, in Porter Ranch, California.

Only a day after it began, the fire near the town of Paradise had grown to almost 110 square miles, and investigators found five people dead in vehicles that were torched by the flames.

"Extreme fire behaviour with unsafe rates of spread are expected", says an incident update, adding that the fire will continue to burn in the south west direction, threatening the City of Orville.

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The winds calmed down in the valley, but they were still shifting and erratic, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour along ridge tops, he said. "A lot of roads were congested with traffic that just could not move, so we moved those into church parking lots and store parking lots where we could get them all together and have our resources there to protect them".

Detective Mark Bass - who lives in Paradise, a town of 27,000 people, about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco - said he got his family to safety and then returned to help others. The entire town of Paradise, Calif. was scorched, with more than a thousand buildings destroyed. By nightfall, it had consumed more than 28 square miles (73 square kilometers) and firefighters had no containment on the blaze, McLean said.

As the wildfire raged nearby, Whitney Vaughan and her husband had just enough time to grab a laundry basket of dirty clothes and some pictures before fleeing their home in Paradise, California.

About two-thirds of the city of Malibu was ordered evacuated early Friday as a ferocious wildfire roared toward the beachside community that is home to about 13,000 residents, some of them Hollywood celebrities.

The fire crossed USA 101 a few miles east of Thousand Oaks - the site of Wednesday night's bar shooting - and was headed south to the Pacific coast, in the direction of Malibu Creek State Park and Malibu city, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

"Imminent threat!" the department said in its warning.

A section of U.S. Highway 101, the main link between Los Angeles and Ventura and Santa Barbara, was closed because of fire.

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

Fanned by high winds and fueled by low humidity and dry vegetation, the fires spread rapidly Thursday and overnight into Friday. The fire in Paradise was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area. Almost 2,300 firefighters are battling the flames, but as of Friday morning, it was still zero percent contained.

Other reports by GizPress

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