Two more found dead in South­ern Calif. fires

The Wichita Eagle (Sunday) - - News - BY JONATHAN J. COOPER AND ANDREW DAL­TON

Two peo­ple were found dead and scores of houses from ranch homes to celebri­ties’ man­sions burned in a pair of wild­fires that stretched across more than 100 square miles of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, au­thor­i­ties said Satur­day.

The two bod­ies were found in Mal­ibu, but Los An­ge­les County sher­iff’s Chief John Bene­dict of­fered no fur­ther de­tails. They were dis­cov­ered in the area of a wind­ing stretch of Mul­hol­land High­way with steep panoramic views, where on Satur­day the road­way was lit­tered with rocks, a few large boul­ders and fallen power lines, some of them still on fire. Most of the sur­round­ing struc­tures were lev­eled.

The deaths bring to 11 the num­ber of peo­ple killed in the state’s wild­fires in the past few days, with nine found dead in a North­ern Cal­i­for­nia wild­fire.

Fire­fight­ers have saved thou­sands of homes de­spite work­ing in “ex­treme, tough fire con­di­tions that they said they have never seen in their life,” Los An­ge­les County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

Those vi­cious con­di­tions on Fri­day night gave way to calm Satur­day, with winds re­duced to breezes.

Fire­fight­ers used the lull to try to rein in the pow­er­ful blaze that had grown to 109 square miles and get a grasp of how much dam­age it did in its first two days.

Osby said losses to homes were sig­nif­i­cant but did not say how many had burned. Of­fi­cials said ear­lier that 150 houses had been de­stroyed and the num­ber would rise. About 250,000 homes are un­der evac­u­a­tion or­ders across the re­gion.

Wild­fires forced a city­wide evac­u­a­tion or­der in Mal­ibu.

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