Tens of Thousands Evacuate as Wildfires Char California Towns

Tens of Thousands Evacuate as Wildfires Char California Towns

A series of fast-moving wildfires are racing up and down California early Friday, destroying thousands of structures in their paths and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate through flame-lined streets.

Where are people being evacuated?

Early Friday, the city of Malibu was ordered to evacuate as a wildfire approached the coastal area.

At least five people have been killed and more than 150,000 evacuated as two big wildfires rage in California, officials say.

Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the fire is heading towards the ocean, punctuating the message with the declaration: "Imminent threat!"

Voluntary evacuations have been added in Ventura County for Lake Sherwood and the area south of Highway 101 and north of Potrero Rd. between Westlake Blvd. and Wendy Dr.in Thousand Oaks.

Dettorre is concerned that as the fire crosses the freeway "it will make its historic and typical run all the way down Pacific Coast Highway".

A former US Marine combat veteran opened fire in a bar packed with college students in the town on Wednesday night, killing 12 people and stunning a leafy community with a reputation for safety. One CBS reporter said she has seen rabbits cowering from the smoke, and running around in confusion.

That fire - which ignited in Woolsey Canyon east of Simi Valley on Thursday - was burning toward Malibu on Friday.




California Lutheran University had already canceled Friday classes due to the shooting. Also shut down were the schools of the Conejo Valley School District, headquartered in Thousand Oaks, and the Los Angeles Unified School District's Topanga Elementary Charter School. Winds were blowing between 25-30 miles per hour and pushed the fire across the freeway onto Conejo Mountain toward the Pacific Coast Highway.

California's Santa Ana winds have stoked the fires, causing the Woolsley blaze to double in size to 8,000 acres, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Both fires erupted Thursday afternoon and have grown rapidly.

Thousands of people are now being evacuated in Ventura County due to the Woolsey fire that's raging in California.

Over 20 million people in the state are now under red-flag fire warnings. Residents struggling to cope with that tragedy are now confronted with another disaster, the Los Angeles Times reported. Thousands evacuated, many abandoned their vehicles and fleeing on foot as flames surrounded major roadways in the area.

Butte County Cal Fire Chief Darren Read said in a press conference that several hundred buildings, possibly as many as 1,000 or more, were destroyed in the town, which is home to about 27,000 people.

However there were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries.

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