Nine Die in Cal­i­for­nia Wild­fires


LOS AN­GE­LES (Dis­patches) - Nine peo­ple were killed and hun­dreds of thou­sands or­dered to evac­u­ate as wild­fires raged Satur­day across Cal­i­for­nia, with one rapidly spread­ing blaze threat­en­ing the re­sort of Mal­ibu, home to Hollywood stars.

The fa­tal­i­ties were re­ported in a mas­sive late-sea­son in­ferno in the town of Par­adise, in Butte County north of the state cap­i­tal Sacra­mento, where some 6,700 struc­tures went up in flames - of­fi­cially be­com­ing Cal­i­for­nia’s most de­struc­tive fire on record.

The fast-mov­ing blaze, which au­thor­i­ties have named the “Camp Fire”, broke out Thurs­day morn­ing. Fanned by strong winds, it has scorched 90,000 acres (36,400 hectares) and is only five per­cent con­tained, the Cal­i­for­nia Fire Depart­ment (Cal Fire) said late Fri­day.

Other large fires raged in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia, in­clud­ing one just north of Los An­ge­les and an­other in Ven­tura County near Thou­sand Oaks, where a Marine Corps vet­eran shot dead 12 peo­ple in a coun­try mu­sic bar on Wed­nes­day night. “The mag­ni­tude of de­struc­tion we have seen is re­ally un­be­liev­able and heart­break­ing and our hearts go to ev­ery­body who has been af­fected by this,” said Mark Ghi­lar­ducci, the di­rec­tor of the Cal­i­for­nia Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice of Emer­gency Ser­vices.

Gov­er­nor-elect Gavin New­som de­clared a state of emer­gency to pro­vide as­sis­tance to the fire-hit ar­eas.

Late Fri­day Butte County Sher­iff Korey Honea said it was his “sad duty” to up­date the Camp Fire death toll to nine.

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