157,000 People Evacuated As Fires Burn in Northern, Southern California

Vehicles are seen during evacuation from Paradise to Chico in Butte County California U.S in this

The fire earlier ripped through Paradise, about 30 kilometres east of Chico.

"There's nothing much left standing", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) spokesman Scott Maclean.

More than 157,000 people across the state have been forced to flee their homes as the fires close in on residential areas, putting more lives in danger. "I'm driving through fire as we speak".

Officials were sending as many firefighters as they could, Cal Fire spokesperson Rick Carhart said.

The winds calmed down in the valley, but they were still shifting and erratic, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kph) along ridge tops, he said.

Traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock and residents abandoned vehicles and ran from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said. "It's that kind of devastation", he said.

In Southern California, the 10,000-acre (4,047-hectare) Woolsey Fire led authorities on Friday morning to expand mandatory evacuation orders to the entire city of Malibu, known for the many celebrities that call it home.

Thousands of residents just outside Los Angeles have been ordered to evacuate immediately as a massive wildfire advances, fanned by strong winds.

No deaths have been reported in Malibu.

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"We have five confirmed", the official said on Friday when asked about the number of fatalities related to the wildfires.

Rescuers used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out of the way in order to reach a hospital and evacuate patients as the fire engulfed the building, Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter said.

"We are still reeling, but we are also very resilient", she said. Several evacuation centers were set up in nearby towns.

Residents described fleeing their homes and then getting stuck on gridlocked roads as flames approached, sparking explosions and toppling utility poles.

"It is what we feared for a long time", Honea said, noting there was no time to knock on residents' doors one-by-one. After an hour of no movement, she abandoned the truck and made a decision to try her luck on foot.

A meteorologist speaking at the news conference said that dry conditions are expected to continue and that the lack of rain was only making things worse.

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. "Multiple cars, vehicles left in the roadway burned out".

Concerned friends and family posted frantic messages on Twitter and other sites saying they were looking for loved ones, particularly seniors who lived at retirement homes or alone.

"There are quite a few of them we've seen, trying to escape the flames and get out, get to safety, because their home, their habitat, is on fire", she said. According to Esri, it should be updated soon with pins for the Camp Fire and the fires in Los Angeles, both of which just broke out yesterday. "A lot of kids lost their home and a lot of them are scattered around right now, but we've heard from everybody", Paradise head coach Rick Prinz told MaxPreps. "We're anxious sick. They do have a vehicle, but they both are older and can be confused at times".

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