At least nine people have died and 35 are missing in a raging wildfire in Northern California, while in Southern California thousands of homes are under threat and all of Malibu has been evacuated as two other fires bear down.
More than 300,000 people from across the state have been forced to flee their homes, as the fast moving flames from the fires that all started on Thursday have raced to cover more than 200 square miles.
Whipped by the notorious Santa Ana winds gusting up to 60mph, the southern blazes have not yet killed or injured anyone, but have destroyed many homes and forced thousands to flee for their lives on short notice – including many celebrities who live in the wealthy coastal enclaves under threat.
The larger of the two southern blazes, the Woolsey Fire, has scorched as least 35,000 acres north of Los Angeles since igniting near Rocketdyne at around 2pm local time Thursday, quickly spreading southwest toward Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, the community still reeling from a mass shooting in a bar on Wednesday night.
The massive Woolsey Fire was a zero containment on Friday night, and dozens of communities on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties as well as the beachside city of Malibu were ordered to evacuate as the flames approached. On Friday night, the fire crossed the Pacific Coast Highway, marching straight up to the ocean’s edge.
To the west of the Woolsey Fire a second, smaller blaze dubbed the Hill Fire has torched almost 6,000 acres in Ventura County after igniting at around the same time in Hill Canyon on Thursday afternoon.
The smoke from the fire is seen from the Pacific Coast Highway as residents flee Malibu and nearby areas
Fires burn toward the Pacific Ocean as seen Friday from a helicopter over Santa Monica, California
The map above shows the three major fires now burning in California, two in the south and one in the north
A house burns during the Woolsey Fire on Friday night in Malibu, California. About 75,000 homes have been evacuated in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to two fires in the region
A home burns on Friday as seen from a helicopter in the Calabasas section of Los Angeles
The Woolsey Fire approaches homes on Friday in Malibu, California. About 75,000 homes have been evacuated in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to two fires in the region
A house along Pacific Coast Highway burns as the Woolsey Fire reached the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California on Friday
Rescued animals are corralled on Zuma beach in Malibu, CA. The thickness of the smoke can be seen in the pictures
The Malibu Zoo was safely evacuated and animals were brought to the beach out of the reach of the flames
A DC-10 air tanker flies over homes as fires burn Friday as seen from a helicopter over the Calabasas section of Los Angeles
In Northern California, the Camp Fire has raced across 90,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning, destroying 6,700 structures and killing at least nine people who had no time to escape.
That fire devastated the town of Paradise, where officials say nearly every structure has been razed by out-of-control flames and five people were found dead in burned out vehicles early Friday afternoon.
Officials said on Friday night that another four people had been killed by the Camp Fire and another 35 were missing. Three of the additional dead individuals were found outside their homes, and one inside a residence.
Three firefighters have been injured battling the northern blaze, out of 3,223 personnel currently involved in the containment efforts.
The Camp Fire has destroyed 6,453 homes and 260 commercial structures. Some 52,000 residents have been evacuated.
Police in Paradise said they had received two reports of looting but have yet to make any arrests. ‘It is despicable conduct,’ Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea said of would-be looters, vowing swift arrest and maximum penalties.
When Paradise was evacuated, the order set off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got stuck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee on foot.
People reported seeing much of the community go up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement center.
‘There was really no firefight involved,’ said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate. ‘These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday.’
The causes of all three fires are under investigation. The Camp Fire began at 6.29am on Friday, while in the south the Hill and Woolsey Fires began on Friday afternoon. The Camp Fire is 5 per cent contained.
Three wildfires are seen burning in California on Friday. The larger Camp Fire in the north has killed five and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the south, near Los Angeles the twin Hill and Woolsey Fires have forced an evacuation of Malibu
Five people were found burned alive in their cars midday Friday after the relentless Camp Fire ravaged the town of Paradise
Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia in Northern California
Even after sunrise, smoke still filtered the sun over the burned out areas Paradise, as the Camp Fire burns out of control
Abandoned vehicles sit at a car lot in Paradise, north of Sacramento, California on Friday after the Camp Fire ravaged the area
In Paradise, a line of burned out abandoned cars sit on the road after the Camp Fire moved through the area on Thursday
Abandoned cars from fleeing residents of the Magalia and Paradise Pine area, line Skyway road the day after the start of the Camp Fire that continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California
The Camp Fire (above) completely engulfed the town of Paradise in Northern California, growing to 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning and killing at least five people who became trapped in their cars while trying to escape
In Southern California, wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued, warning wind gusts could reach 70mph and relative humidity could be as low as 2 percent.
No injuries have been reported in either southern fire as of Friday morning, but officials have warned that they will remain life-threatening through the weekend.
At around 7am local time Friday, officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire city of Malibu as the Woolsey Fire raged toward the Pacific Ocean.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department punctuated the evacuation message with the declaration: ‘Imminent threat!’
‘We’re in a situation where this fire is moving quickly – conditions are changing rapidly,’ Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Buschow said at a press conference.
The Woolsey fire jumped US Highway 101 in the Calabasas area overnight and is now continuing it’s path into the Santa Monica Mountains.
In Southern California, the fire has spread toward the Pacific, forcing the total evacuation of Malibu. Caitlyn Jenner’s home was destroyed by the flames, and other celebrity homes under fire threat are seen on the map above
Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted this view of the Woolsey Fire from the company’s headquarters in Burbank, California
A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind a home during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California on Friday
Clouds of smoke appear from the Woosley Fire to the north in Malibu as people ride their bicycles in Venice Beach, California
People watch the heavy smoke rises over the the Santa Monica Mountains during the Woolsy fire in Malibu, California
A firefighter keeps watch as the charred remains of a burned out home are seen during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu
The Southern California fires are flanking the city of Thousand Oaks, threatening the beleaguered community as it tries to mend itself after a gunman stormed a bar holding ‘College Night’ on Wednesday, killing 12 people and himself.
‘Just 48 hours ago our city experience tragedy that had national implications,’ Thousand Oaks Mayor Andy Fox said at a press conference on Friday night.
He pointed out that many of those affected by the shooting had probably been forced to evacuate their homes, and noted that the loss of property was never comparable to the loss of life.
‘Those lives will never be recovered. Tonight we are talking about a serious fire situation, but thankfully we have not lost a single life,’ the mayor said.
Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill less than 24 hours earlier.
The Thousand Oaks Teen Center that was used as meeting point after the massacre has now been transformed into a shelter from the fire.
Paramount Ranch, where a number of Hollywood westerns have been filmed, is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire
Slide to view: A scene from HBO’s Westworld (left) is seen alongside the fire-devastated movie lot on Friday (right)
The HBO series Westworld shoots at Paramount Ranch, which is seen above on Friday decimated by the Woolsey Fire
Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills in Southern California is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire on Friday
Kanye West’s office (above) in Calabasas was evacuated on Friday as the intense flames of the Woolsey Fire approached
Celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Rainn Wilson, and Alyssa Milano have been forced to evacuate as the flames surrounded their homes.
West’s offices in Calabasas also had to be evacuated after the raging wildfire encroached on the area.
Around the same time reports emerged that Caitlyn Jenner’s 3,500 square foot, 4-bedroom pad overlooking the Malibu beach was destroyed by fierce flames from the same blaze.
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga’s mansion nearby in Malibu was seen surrounded by a blanket of thick smoke as the wildfire overtook the beachside city before moving toward Oxnard.
Will Smith posted a video to his Instagram story expressing worry that his own home would be hit by the flames as the path of destruction continues.
In Agoura Hills, the Woolsey Fire destroyed Paramount Ranch, the set of HBO’s Westworld and many other western films and shows.
HBO said that no cast or crew were at the Paramount Ranch location when it burned down.
Among the films that have been shot at the ranch are Caught in the Draft with Bob Hope, The Lake House with Sandra Bullock, and TV shows including The Mentalist, Weeds and Quickdraw.
Dr Quinn Medicine Woman was also shot there from 1992 to 1997.
Nearly 20,000 acres have been scorched by the twin wildfires tearing across Ventura and Los Angeles counties
The Woolsey fire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, California on Friday. The fire has reached 14,000 acres
A firefighter wipes soot from his eyes while fighting flames engulfing a home near Malibu Lake in Southern California on Friday. As of midday the Woolsey and Hill Fires ravaging the area are zero percent contained, according to state officials
A firefighter battles flames at a home in Thousand Oaks, where the community still reeling from Wednesday night’s shooting
The Hill and Woolsey Fires have approached Thousand Oaks from both sides as they scorch a path toward the Pacific
A helicopter dispenses water over flames burning a portion of Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. Staff at the Los Angeles Zoo, which is located in the park, are preparing animals to be evacuated as the Woolsey Fire approaches
A large plum of smoke from a brush fire rises over a congested Interstate 5 in Los Angeles as thousands evacuate their homes
An aerial view of the Hill Fire in Southern California shows smoke rising out of Camarillo after the blaze jumped over Highway 101, threatening thousands of homes and forcing a number of communities to evacuate
Large plumes of smoke from a fast moving wildfire are seen in the background as volunteers care for evacuated horses at The Pierce College Equine Center where evacuees are bringing their large and small animals in the Woodland Hills section of LA
The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted a picture of a truck in front of a blazing hillside as smoke billows behind it
Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting
The fire has been spread by powerful winds that pushed it through canyons and to the edge of Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands, both of which were evacuated.
More than 165 firefighters were rushed to the area and eight aerial air tankers have been ordered to tackle the fierce blaze from above.
A ‘red flag’ warning came into effect at 10am today in the San Diego County mountains and valleys and will last until 10pm Friday.
In nearby Newbury Park where ex-marine Ian Michael Long lived, residents stood and watched two scenes unfolding – one of reporters standing outside of home of the suspected shooter, the other a brush fire raging behind their homes.
Connor Chaney, 21, told the LA Times: ‘You feel hopeless. There’s nothing you can do over there or there.’
This morning the flames were said to be only three miles from the Borderline Bar and Grill.
The Hill Fire is burning in the same area as the Springs Fire from 2013, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
‘The wind is definitely pushing this thing toward the ocean just like the Springs Fire a few years ago,’ Ventura County Fire Capt Brian McGrath told the Los Angeles Times. ‘It’s very fast.’
Flames from the Woolsey Fire scorch a hill on Friday in Calabasas, where more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated
Strong, dry winds are expected to continue into Friday night, pushing the wildfires westward toward the Pacific Ocean
Kim Kardashian and three children given just one hour to evacuate wildfire-threatened Calabasas mansion
Kim Kardashian and her three children were given just one hour to evacuate her home as wildfires swept through California.
The reality TV star flew back from San Quentin jail, where a death row inmate she is campaigning to have released is being held, when she was told to quickly flee the devastating blazes.
As the 38-year-old came into land in her private plane she took aerial videos and pictures of the flames spreading around the around Los Angeles and Ventura County.
The star has asked her fans to ‘pray for Calabasas’ after the reality TV star was ‘evacuated’ from her home due to wildfires.
She took to Instagram to share aerial photos of the Woosley fire in California and praise the efforts of firefighters.
However once she landed, Kim revealed her and kids North, Chicago and Saint only ‘had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home’.
The socialite was returning from a business trip when she spotted the fires from the air.
Kim Kardashian has asked her fans to ‘pray for Calabasas’ after the reality TV star was ‘evacuated’ from her home due to wildfires. She shared the photo above with her three kids [L-R] North, Chicago and Saint last night
Kim had just one hour to evacuate the $20million home she shares with Kanye West in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Calabasas
And once on the ground, Kim made sure to document the action, sharing pictures and videos of first responders to the tragedy.
She captioned as video with: ‘Fire fighters are arriving. Thank you for all that you do for us!!!’ wrote the mother-of-three.’
Kim and rapper Kanye West’s 15,000 sqft estate in Hidden Hills is thought to be worth around $20million.
The fire first erupted on Thursday afternoon east of neighboring city Chatsworth and has since grown to 4,000 acres in Ventura County.
It rapidly burned down several houses as mandatory evacuations were ordered in areas like the Kardashian neighborhood of Hidden Hills.
Kim and her sister Kourtney, 39, both live in exclusive Calabasas, near their mother Kris Jenner and brother Rob.
Kourtney left her Calabasas home and posted an Instagram picture of suitcases in her car as she went to stay with sister Kendall Jenner’s house in Beverly Hills and joked she was raiding her pantry for food.
She wrote alongside the picture: ‘I pray that everyone is kept safe and protected from these fires. No Calabasas tonight.’
Kris Jenner’s upmarket Hidden Hills neighborhood was evacuated, but she was also not at her $9.9m home as the drama unfolded as she was watching daughter, Kendall, take to the catwalk and star in the Victoria Secrets fashion show in New York.
Kylie was not in California at the time as she was supporting boyfriend, Travis Scott, at his Astroworld tour in Baltimore, Maryland.
Khloe Kardashian revealed that she and daughter True were staying with Rob Kardashian and his daughter, Dream, who live near Kris, but were not forced out of their home.
She tweeted last night: ‘I am with Rob, Dream and True and I am up keeping watch! Saying prayers and thanking all of the brave firefighters who risk their lives for us.’
Reporting by Chris Dyer for MailOnline
On Friday officials confirmed that five people had been found dead in their vehicles after having been burnt alive by ferocious flames in Northern California’s Camp Fire.
In the northern part of the state, the town of Paradise has been ‘pretty much destroyed’ by a raging wildfire that forced some 27,000 terrified residents to flee their homes.
All of the city’s 27,000 residents were ordered to evacuate on Thursday as the wildfire quickly turned into an inferno. Many residents said traffic jams developed as they left as panicked people fled, some abandoning their cars to try to escape on foot.
Evacuees were seen clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the blaze that engulfed the town, destroying hundreds of buildings and causing highway pylons to collapse into roads.
One witness Gina Oviedo described a devastating scene as she fled the town as the flames took over, saying: ‘Things started exploding. People started getting out of their vehicles and running.’
An ABC News crews caught the ‘firenado’ in action as wildfires swept through Butte County in nouthern California
A red flag warning was in effect from Friday morning, meaning firefighters face a battle against the high dry winds and low humidity that help spread the wildfire.
On Thursday night fire officials said the blaze was ‘growing uncontrollably’ as it swept across Butte County at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute, and more than 2,200 firefighters fought against the flames.
Cal Fire Capt Scott McLean late last night: ‘Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation. The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.’
McLean says a wind-whipped wildfire destroyed thousands of structures but he said they won’t have an exact count, nor have an idea over the extent of any injuries until they can get into the dangerous area.
Officials say nearly every structure in Paradise has been razed by out-of-control flames and multiple people have likely died. Pictured are the remains of the Blackbear Diner as fire roared past, taking with it a hospital, a gas station and dozens of homes
Some 2,000 firefighters are working to bring the Camp Fire under control as it ravages Butte County north of Sacramento
The Camp Fire has spread across 15 square miles in Butte County north of Sacramento. Pictured: A home in Paradise is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire tears through the town of 27,000 people
Embers blow in the wind as the flames from the Camp Fire tear through a KFC restaurant in Paradise on Thursday
A home burns to the ground in Paradise as the Camp Fire quadrupled in size over Thursday night, scorching 110 square miles
A Jack in the Box fast food restaurant is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire overtook the town of Paradise Thursday night
The restaurant was one of the many commercial building destroyed in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California
California Highway Patrol officers attempt to transfer a potbelly pig they rescued to Butte County Animal control officers in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region
Paradise resident Cathy Fallonstands near the charred remains of her home. ‘I’ll be darned if I’m going to let those horses burn in the fire’ said Fallon, who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses, ‘It has to be true love.’ The horses all survived
An American flag stands above the smoldering ground outside a home in Paradise after the Camp Fire passed through
‘Ominous’ piece of burnt paper descends from sky amid fast-moving California blaze
As a vicious wildfire rages through Northern California, the warning to flee came to one woman in the form of a small ‘ominous’ piece of charred paper that descended from the sky.
Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, said she stepped outside her home on Thursday around 9am to assess the menacing cloud of black smoke taking over the sky about 10 miles away from her home.
As she stood outside the single piece of burnt parchment floated down from above.
‘I thought, “If this is a piece of the Bible, this is going to be crazy,”‘ she said to the San Francisco Gate. ‘It looked very ominous. It was kind of a like a leaf…how they fall down.’
Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, shared this photo of a charred piece of paper that descended from the blackened sky on Thursday, near the Camp Fire blaze
But upon a closer look she said the singed piece of paper appeared to be from a fire manual and included information about fire hose pressure.
She shared it to social media where writing: ‘I was standing outside looking at the smoke in the sky with the #campfire near my office and this fell out of the sky.’
The picture racked up more than 500 likes with some Twitter users saying the paper looked like a ‘holy message’.
‘Wow. At least it’s not a piece of a page from the #Bible. Then, I would be getting in my vehicle and heading for the ocean…’ twitter user David Nyro wrote.
‘Dang…don’t scare me….there for a minute, I thought it was the Constitution,’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘That’s a poignant photo. Hope you aren’t too close,’ another added.
‘This is disconcerting to see. Burned debris falling from sky from #CampFire is a page from a fire truck manual,’ yet another Twitter fan said.
Some online users said they had eerily similar incidents happen to them.
‘I’ll never forget that happening years ago during the huge Oakland fires. Just heartbreaking,’ Twitter user Kim O’Connor said.
‘I had a VERY similar thing happen to me during the Carr Fire a few months ago in Redding. The page was from a Self Help/Inspirational book, but nearly the whole page fell at my feet during the fire tornado.’
While officials say there have likely been a number of fatalities from the rapidly expanding Camp Fire, no official number has been reported.
Meanwhile, families in search of missing loved ones have received aid from an unlikely source: actor James Woods.
The award-winning actor has filled his Twitter page -@RealJamesWoods – with retweets of nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about their missing loved ones.
Woods tweeted: ‘To all my wonderful followers: I want to thank you for your extraordinary efforts tonight connecting people with lost loved ones in the terrible #CampFire. Your thousands of retweets of invaluable information literally saved lives. God bless you all.’
At the top of the profile Woods pinned a link to a running list of missing persons, which stood at a total of 40 as of 10am PST Friday morning.
The award-winning actor has retweeted nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about loved ones
Actor James Woods has been helping families in search of loved ones caught up in the Camp Fire by turning his Twitter account – @RealJamesWoods – into a missing persons database