- The death toll from the still-raging California wildfires has risen
to 23 after 14 bodies were recovered Saturday, the Butte County
- The Woolsey and Hill fires are burning on the outskirts of
LA, and now stretch more than 100 square miles across the area,
- The Camp Fire in northern California
destroyed an entire town in less than a day and has killed
at least nine people. Authorities said it was 25% contained by
- The flames are being fueled by dry, hot conditions as well as
- California wildfires are becoming so frequent and pervasive
that officials there say there’s almost no need for the term
“wildfire season” anymore.
Three dangerous wildfires are raging in California.
The Butte County Sheriff announced Saturday that 14 additional
bodies were recovered — some found in cars and houses — bringing
the death toll to 23 so far.
The Camp Fire, in northern
California, started Thursday morning and quickly charred the
entire town of Paradise, which is home to 27,000.
The flames grew so fast — at a pace of 80 football fields per
minute — that four people were burned to death in their cars,
the Butte County sheriff Korey Honea told the Associated Press.
One deceased person was found near a vehicle.
According to the sheriff, the department has received 35 missing
persons reports. So far, at least nine people have died as a
result of the Camp Fire. In addition to those found in or near a
vehicle, one person was found inside a home.
Authorities announced Saturday that two people were found dead in
Malibu after the Woolsey and Hill fires raged over 100 square
miles of Southern California.
As of 7 a.m. PT on Sunday, the Camp
Fire had burned 109,000 acres and was 25% contained.
More than 6,700 structures were destroyed. The Camp Fire is now
considered the most destructive wildfire in
California history in terms of the number of structures
To the south, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, two smaller fires
also started Thursday and are now creating havoc for drivers and
forcing homeowners to flee. The Woolsey and Hill Fires are
burning through parts of Ventura and LA counties. The flames have
threatened the homes of
celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West and shut down
stretches of the 101 freeway.
By Sunday morning, CalFire reported the Wollsey Fire had burned over
83,000 acres and was 5% contained, and the Hill Fire had burned
over 4,500 acres and was 65% contained.
Inside the city limits of LA, another smaller fire broke out Friday
morning in Griffith Park near the zoo. Firefighters scrambled
to reach the area by helicopter since the area was not accessible
by truck. The fire scorched about 30 acres before
it was fully extinguished Friday.
Southern California fire officials say the flames have burned at
least 150 homes. They say that number is likely to increase.
Already this year, 7,578 fires have burned across
California, fueled by hot, dry conditions and aggressive
Camp Fire kills at least 9 people
The Camp Fire started about 6:30 a.m. on Thursday. So far, more
than 6,700 structures have burned, and thousands more are
According to the Butte County sheriff’s office, five of the
people whose deaths have been confirmed were found near Edgewood
Lane in Paradise, California, in or near “vehicles that were
overcome by the Camp Fire.” The sheriff’s office was not yet able
to identify those victims because of their burn injuries. Other
residents ran from the fire, the
Sacramento Bee reported.
California Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom
declared a state of emergency in Butte County because of the
Camp Fire Thursday, and sent a letter to President Donald
Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asking
for federal assistance.
Smoke from that fire is blanketing wide swaths of Northern
California in a gray haze. On Friday morning, people in San
Francisco woke up to the smell of smoke and poor air quality, and some donned masks to
protect their lungs.
Federal air monitors have suggested that older adults,
children, teens, and people with heart and lung conditions should
limit their time outside because of the high number of dangerously small pollutants
in the air. The air in San Francisco right now is as bad as
Beijing, CBS reported.
Hill and Woolsey fires swallow 100 square miles in Ventura and LA
Authorities announced Saturday two people were found dead near
Mulholland Highway in Malibu Los Angeles County sheriff’s Chief
John Benedict said. Benedict did not explain further, saying
detectives are investigating.
Late Friday night, fire officials downgraded the Hill Fire to
4,500 acres burned in Ventura County, and mandatory evacuation orders are in place for
people at the Point Mugu Naval Base and California State
University Channel Islands, among other areas. The blaze was 65%
of 7 a.m. local time Sunday.
The Woolsey Fire (the one that forced Kim and
Kourtney Kardashian out of their homes) has charred 129 square miles, and CalFire
said the blaze was only 5% contained as of 7 a.m. PT on Sunday.
“Imminent threat! Malibu lakes residents must leave area
immediately,” the LA County fire department wrote on Twitter Friday morning.
Shortly after noon on Friday, the City of Malibu
said on its website that the “fire is now burning out of
control and heading into populated areas of Malibu. All residents
must evacuate immediately.” LA County Sheriff‘s Deputies were
knocking on doors there, telling everyone in the star-studded
beach town to get out.
As a result of the blazes, 250,000 people in Ventura and LA
counties had been evacuated as of Friday night, the Times said.
By Friday evening, about 75% of the Ventura County city of
Thousand Oaks had been abandoned, fire officials said according
to the Associated Press.
Firefighters are racing to keep flames from charring people’s
homes, but as the LA Fire Department’s Eric Scott pointed
out on Twitter, some houses are better protected than others,
since green vegetation can help keep flames back.
On Friday morning, less than 24 hours after the two fires broke
out, acting Gov. Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los
Angeles and Ventura counties.
The fires forced the 101 freeway to shut down in a couple
In Ventura County, a nine-mile southbound stretch from Wendy
Drive to Lewis Road where the Hill Fire raged, was closed. In
LA County, a section of the freeway from the
Mulholland Drive/Valley Circle Boulevard exit to Reyes Adobe Road
was closed to traffic both ways after flames from the Woolsey
Fire jumped across the highway.
Wildfire “season,” in California used to run from late summer
through the fall, since autumn’s Santa Ana winds help blow flames
But as the planet heats up, unseasonably high temperatures and
drought conditions are becoming more common. So fire officials in
the state are succumbing to the idea that
fires may not be limited to any specific
Bryan Logan contributed reporting.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.