'God help us!' Pair of California wildfires, spurred by high win

'God help us!' Pair of California wildfires, spurred by high win

'God help us!' Pair of California wildfires, spurred by high win

"The perimeter is now the Pacific Ocean", Richardson said.

On Thursday, as flames engulfed Paradise, frantic residents racing to safety plunged into the thick smoke that darkened the daytime sky and made driving hard.

Another fire was burning farther west in Ventura County, also moving toward the ocean.

About 1:30 a.m., all residents south of the Ventura Freeway between Westlake Boulevard on the west, Mulholland Highway to the south and Las Virgenes Road to the east were told to leave the area immediately, according to Malibu Search and Rescue.

The Camp Fire decimated most of Paradise, a town of about 26,000 people 90 miles north of Sacramento near Chico, destroying at least 2,000 structures and threatening 15,000 more, according to Cal Fire's 10 a.m. Friday incident update.

Ventura County Fire Capt. Brian McGrath said the front of the fire was still burning toward the coast and had grown rapidly overnight.

Gov. -elect Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in the area and has requested federal funds to help those impacted by wildfires in the state.

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

The city of Malibu is under a mandatory evacuation order as the Woolsey fire threatens the communities of Calabasas and Malibu, covering as much as 8,000 acres as of Friday morning.

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California fire captain Scott McLean said earlier that "pretty much the entire community of Paradise is destroyed", adding that the fire had grown to nearly 110 square miles - four times its original size.

Approximately 75,000 homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties are under mandatory evacuations due to the Woolsey and Hill fires.

The Camarillo-area fire, dubbed the Hill Fire, was fed by 25- to 30-mph winds that pushed flames across Highway 101 and toward Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura County Firespokesman Mike Lindbery said Thursday night. At one point, the unrelenting flames burned about 2,000 acres per hour taking down everything - big box stores, homes, and businesses - in its path.

The Woolsey fire was one of three ravaging the state, with the northern California town of Paradise in Butte County largely destroyed overnight.

Pepperdine University shut down its Malibu and Calabasas campuses and initiated shelter-in-place protocols as the fire roared southward, sweeping into the Santa Monica mountains.

The fire chief said it could be days before authorities knows if there have been any fatalities.

Wind gusts of up to 77 miles per hour were reported in Los Angeles County on Friday morning.

Winds were expected to weaken Friday afternoon into Saturday. A second round of Santa Ana winds is forecast to whip the area Sunday through Tuesday, though it may be weaker than Friday's.

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