California Wildfire Toll: 9 Lives, Thousands of Homes, Buildings

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2018

McGregor said he probably would not rebuild: "I have nothing here to go back to".

In total, there are now 14 wildfires blazing in California and acting governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency. Officials warned firefighters to wear their helmets and be careful of falling trees.

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.

A school bus was among several abandoned vehicles left blackened by flames on one road.

"The preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were located in vehicles that were overcome by the Camp Fire", said a statement by the Butte County Sheriff's Department, adding that they had yet to be identified.

The group turned the other way and dashed down the paved street until it turned into dirt and passed the Fallons' farm, he said. Fallon said he shook his head as the fire roared closer. Authorities wound up closing the road to all northbound traffic out of Santa Monica, allowing southbound motorists to use all four lanes. "Our weather conditions out there, and our fuel conditions are absolutely right for fire".

"It was absolutely dark", said resident Mike Molloy, who said he made a decision based on the wind to leave Thursday morning, packing only the minimum and joining a sea of other vehicles.

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Camp Fire death toll now at 48, worst in state history
Four days after the fire began, firefighters had it 85 percent contained and are expecting it to be fully contained on Thursday. The Woolsey Fire has burned at least 93,00 acres and destroyed around 435 structures, according to the latest Cal Fire update.

"I was scared as hell", said Fallon, 42. And now, they've frightened some of your brothers and sisters out into the roadways and I don't know where they are. Families described the scenes of panic and terror they lived while escaping."The flames were whipping and spreading so fast", Whitney Vaughan said after fleeing her home in Paradise. In Ventura County, Borchard Community Center at 190 Reino Rd.in Newbury Park was accepting dogs and cats, while the Camarillo Community Center at 1605 E. Burnley St. was accepting small animals. "Her son said, "Mom you have to, you have to drive through the flames".

Kim Kardashian, Alyssa Milano and Melissa Etheridge were among thousands fleeing from their homes.

Two destructive wildfires also burned in Southern California, tearing through Malibu mansions and working-class suburban homes and killing two people.

Three wildfires in California - the Camp Fire in the northern part of the state, and the Woolsey and Hill Fires in the southern part of the state - have wreaked havoc, wiping one town almost off the map and forcing a quarter of a million people to flee their homes, reports Reuters.

Trump earlier issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds to help firefighters.

But he also took to Twitter to criticise forest management in the state as "poor", threatening to revoke federal funding for California forest management unless action was taken to prevent future fires. Trump said "billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests".

Other reports by GizPress

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