A FIRE­FIGHTER

Tempo - - Front Page -

keeps watch as the Woolsey Fire burns a home in Mal­ibu, Cal­i­for­nia. A South­ern Cal­i­for­nia wild­fire con­tin­ues to burn homes as it runs to­ward the sea. Winds are blamed for push­ing the fire through scenic canyon com­mu­ni­ties and ridgetop homes.

PAR­ADISE, Cal­i­for­nia (Reuters) – Wild­fires burned out of con­trol on Fri­day across Cal­i­for­nia, killing at least nine peo­ple in a moun­tain town and forc­ing res­i­dents to flee the up­scale beach com­mu­nity of Mal­ibu in the face of a mon­ster fire storm.

All nine vic­tims were found in and around the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia town of Par­adise, where more than 6,700 homes and busi­nesses were burned down by the Camp Fire, mak­ing it one of the most de­struc­tive in state his­tory, ac­cord­ing to Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Forestry and Fire pro­tec­tion data.

“This event was the worst-case sce­nario. It was the event we have feared for a long time,” Butte County Sher­iff Kory Honea said at a Fri­day evening press con­fer­ence. “Re­gret­tably, not every­body made it out.”

The re­mains of five of the vic­tims were dis­cov­ered in or near burned out cars, three out­side res­i­dences and one in­side a home, Honea said.

An­other 35 peo­ple had been re- ported miss­ing and three fire­fight­ers had been in­jured.

The flames de­scended on Par­adise so quickly that many peo­ple were forced to aban­don their cars and run for their lives down the sole road through the moun­tain town.

A school bus was among sev­eral aban­doned ve­hi­cles left black­ened by flames on one road.

The Camp Fire, which broke out on Thurs­day at the edge of the Plumas Na­tional For­est north­east of Sacra­mento, has since black­ened more than 90,000 acres and was only 5 per­cent con­tained as of night­fall on Fri­day.

A to­tal of 6,453 homes had been de­stroyed in Par­adise and else­where, Honea said, along with 260 com­mer­cial build­ings. The Tubbs Fire, which de­stroyed 5,636 struc­tures in Napa and Sonoma coun­ties in Oc­to­ber 2017, is listed by Cal Fire as the most de­struc­tive in state his­tory.

FIRE BURNS TO­WARD MAL­IBU

In Mal­ibu, some 500 miles (800 km) to the south, flames driven by hot Santa Ana winds gust­ing up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) raced down hill­sides and through canyons to­ward multi-mil­lion dol­lar homes.

Thou­sands of res­i­dents packed the Pa­cific Coast High­way to head south or took refuge on beaches, along with their horses and other pets.

Among those force to flee the Woolsey Fire, which had charred some 35,000 acres (14,164 hectares) as of Fri­day af­ter­noon, were celebri­ties, in­clud­ing Lady Gaga and Kim Kar­dashian, who said on Twit­ter flames had dam­aged the home she shares in nearby Cal­abasas with Kanye West.

“Fire is now burn­ing out of con­trol and head­ing into pop­u­lated ar­eas of Mal­ibu,” the city said in a state­ment on­line. “All res­i­dents must evac­u­ate im­me­di­ately.”

Mal­ibu and Cal­abasas, west of Los An­ge­les, are home to hun­dreds of celebri­ties and en­ter­tain­ment ex­ec­u­tives at­tracted by ocean views, rolling hills and large, se­cluded es­tates.

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