The California wildfire known as the Camp Fire has killed at least nine people, many found in their cars trying to escape the flames. The fire has destroyed more than 6,700 buildings in the area of Paradise, CA, most of them homes. That makes this the most destructive fire in California history according to the San Francisco Chronicle:
By Friday evening, the fire had incinerated 6,453 homes and 260 commercial buildings in and around Paradise. The blaze was only about 5 percent contained and was threatening another 15,000 structures. Some 52,000 people remained evacuated from various towns. Authorities expect the death toll to increase in the coming days…
The nine people killed in the Camp Fire included four victims found in vehicles burned by the blaze in the area of Edgewood Lane, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Another individual was found outside a vehicle there. Three bodies were found outside homes and one was found inside a home. None of the victims has been identified.
The Sacramento Bee describes one family’s close escape:
Savannah Rauscher said she got a reverse 911 call ordering her to evacuate her Edgewood Lane home at 8:30 a.m. Outside, embers and dust were already flying.
“We saw a wall of fire,” she said. “Trees were glowing 50 yards away and it was probably moving like 10 yards every couple minutes. … It was moving so quickly and there’s cars as far as I can see. I had no idea it could be that fast.”
Feeling the heat from the flames, Rauscher’s husband pulled out of the line of cars, cutting into what would have been the oncoming traffic lane. “I thought, ‘We’re going to die,’ and my husband said, ‘No, we’re not going to die like this.”
Photos from the area show entire neighborhoods in flames:
— CBS Sacramento CBS13 (@CBSSacramento) November 9, 2018
In the daylight you can see that everything is gone except foundations and chimneys:
Breaking: #Campfire in Butte County has destroyed over 6,700 structures and is now over 90,000 acres. The fire has killed 9 people and is now the most destructive wildfire in California history. #CaliforniaFires pic.twitter.com/VtvY6040ws
— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) November 10, 2018
Meanwhile, in southern California, the Woolsey Fire has doubled in size and has now consumed 70,000 acres and continues to threaten the town of Malibu. There are reports that at least two bodies have been found in the area but because the fires investigators still haven’t determined if those deaths were caused by the fire.
— LA County Sheriff's (@LASDHQ) November 10, 2018
— Elizabeth (@elizabethk7msn1) November 10, 2018
People with large animals have taken them to the beach as a last resort.
— Colby Devitt (@colbydevitt) November 10, 2018
Some animals are apparently going there on their own:
— Manohla Darkness (@ManohlaDargis) November 10, 2018
Even in the midst of this chaos, there are still people looking to take advantage of others. Fox LA reports two people were arrested for looting Friday.
Given its proximity to Hollywood, there are a few landmarks that have been affected. A Western town owned by Paramount where many movies and television shows have been filmed, including Westworld, has burned down:
We are sorry to share the news that the #WoolseyFire has burned Western Town at #ParamountRanch in Agoura. We do not have any details or photos, but it is our understanding that the structures have burned. This area is an active part of the incident and we cannot access it. pic.twitter.com/oC4n7KR8ZT
— Santa Monica Mtns (@SantaMonicaMtns) November 9, 2018
The LA Times reports that a lot of celebrities were forced to evacuate and some may have lost their homes in the fire, though that remains unclear.