Two more found dead in Southern Calif. fires
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.