A series of fast-moving wildfires is racing Friday up and down California, leaving at least five dead, destroying thousands of structures and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate through flame-lined streets.
A blaze in Northern California sent terrified residents running for their lives as it closed in and destroyed parts of the town of Paradise. Five people were found dead there vehicles that were overcome by flames, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said.
And two Southern California fires are just miles from the bar where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, and evacuations were ordered for Malibu, a seaside city popular with celebrities.
Nearly 30,000 people were forced to evacuate on Thursday when a wildfire roared through this California town, located about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.
In less than 24 hours, the Camp Fire torched Paradise homes, — businesses, supermarkets, restaurants and a retirement home — was left “pretty much…destroyed,” California Fire Capt. Scott McLean said.
By Friday morning, the area remained under siege, with reports that two large fires had burned 15,000 acres and were threatening multiple communities, with 75,000 homes under evacuation orders.
The National Weather Service has issued red-flag warnings for fire dangers in many areas of the state, cautioning that the low humidity and strong winds fueling the blaze could continue through the evening.