9 dead, 35 missing in California wildfire

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 00:58s

9 dead, 35 missing in California wildfire

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby says wildfires continue to burn out of control across California on Saturday, 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.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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9 dead, 35 missing in California wildfire

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) 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 reported 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.

Authorities issued mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders within the City of Los Angeles for the West Hills area on Friday evening.

It is unclear how many homes were within the evacuation areas.

The blaze, which spewed massive plumes of thick black smoke, also threatened parts of the nearby town of Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people earlier this week in a shooting rampage at a college bar, stunning the bucolic Southern California community with a reputation for safety.

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