The notorious Santa Ana winds are driving three fast-moving wildfires across large swaths of California, threatening millions of residents in their path.
In the southern part of the coastal state, nearly 150,000 people are are under evacuation orders while a pair of life-threatening fires have torn across nearly 20,000 acres as dry winds of up to 70mph push them westward toward the Pacific Ocean.
The larger of the two blazes, the Woolsey Fire, has already scorched as least 9,600 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 on Wednesday night.
To the west of the Woolsy 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 Thursday afternoon.
Both fires are zero percent contained as of 11am on Friday, and dozens of communities on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties as well as the beachside city of Malibu have been ordered to evacuate as the flames approach.
Meanwhile, a third fire is raging in the northern part of the state in Butte County where dry winds have swept the Camp Fire across at least 70,400 acres north of Sacramento, after quadrupling in size overnight Thursday.
That fire has devastated the town of Paradise, where officials say nearly every structure has been razed by out-of-control flames and multiple people have likely died.
Three fast-paced wildfires are threatening millions of California residents on Friday as the notorious Santa Ana winds drive flames out of control. Firefighters are seen battling the Camp Fire in Butte County north of Sacramento
Flames from the Woolsey Fire scorch a hill on Friday in Calabasas, where more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated
A firefighter battles flames at a home in Thousand Oaks, where the community still reeling from Wednesday night’s shooting
Smoke from the Camp Fire obscures the Sierra Nevada in this view from an airliner approaching Sacramento on Friday
To the north, 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
Over 400 fire personnel are fighting blazes on the ground Friday morning as challenging fire conditions are expected to continue through the day.
Wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued across wide swathes of Southern California where 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 rages toward the Pacific Ocean.
Los Angeles County Fire officials tweeted an evacuation order for the city of Malibu on Friday morning, declaring the approaching Woolsey fire an ‘imminent threat’
The Los Angeles County Fire Department punctuated the evacuation message with the declaration: ‘Imminent threat!’
The Woolsey fire jumped US Highway 101 in the Calabasas area overnight and is now continuing it’s path into the Santa Monica Mountains.
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 11 people and himself.
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.
The Hill and Woolsey Fires have approached Thousand Oaks from both sides as they scorch a path toward the Pacific
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
A Newbury Park resident photographs flames creeping down a hillside toward buildings and homes in Thousand Oaks
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 map above shows the approximate location of all three fires as of 10am local time on Friday
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.’
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
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.
Evacuees could be 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.’
Along with low humidity levels, the strong winds blowing northeast were blamed for the fire’s rapid movement – as humidity is expected to drop to five to 10 percent.
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.
The flames have been described as ‘growing uncontrollably’ by fire officials as they sweep across Butte County at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute.
Late last night more than 2,200 firefighters were battling the flames and the Camp Fire in northern California remains completely uncontained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
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
Fire rages through neighborhoods as the Camp Fire burns out of control through Paradise, fueled by high winds. The nearby communities of Pulga, Paradise and Concow, have been ordered to evacuate the area
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
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.
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
The award-winning actor has retweeted nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about loved ones