Hundreds of homes destroyed by California wildfire, deaths reported

Santa Ana Winds in the Forecast Ramping up Extreme Fire Threat in Southern California

McLean estimated that the lost buildings numbered in the thousands in Paradise, about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The Woolsey Fire started in Simi Valley Thursday, where it destroyed about 30 homes and burned 8,000 acres by early Friday. "My hometown of Paradise is on fire".

The Camp Fire has scorched over 28 square miles in Butte County, which is about 90 miles north of Sacramento, according to Cal Fire.

With fires also burning in Southern California, state officials put the total number of people forced from their homes at 157,000.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said Friday the victims were found in the same area in the town of Paradise, near a main thoroughfare heading out of town that was consumed by flames.

"This fire moved so fast and grew so fast a lot of people got caught by it".

"Everything was ignited by the time I got out of my house, everything was on fire", another person said.

Percifield said that he drove off the road a few times in the low visibility conditions but eventually made it to a meadow that is maintained for residents to gather in the event of fires.

These are firestorms - towering, fast-moving walls of flames hundreds of feet high - the kind of fires that are not only uncontrolled by firefighters, but uncontrollable.

Dramatic footage shows flames closing in around the highways out of town and thick smoke hanging in the sky, obscuring the horizon. "People leaving vehicles and running with children and pets".

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Some of the patients were initially turned around during their evacuation because of gridlocked traffic and later airlifted to other hospitals, along with some staff, Kinney said.

"It's very chaotic", Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol. People posted photos on Twitter of missing seniors.

The fire in Paradise was reported shortly after daybreak Thursday.

Kelly Lee called shelters looking for her husband's 93-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Herrera, who was last heard from on Thursday morning.

"We had to drive through flames to make it out safely", she said. "They do have a auto, but they both are older and can be confused at times".

By Thursday afternoon, the fire was growing at the rate of about one football field every three seconds, assisted by dry conditions and wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour.

The fire broke out near Thousand Oaks, an area about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles where an attacker killed 12 people on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of 75,000 homes.

The fire then pushed southward, jumped the wide USA 101 freeway before dawn Friday and pushed into the Santa Monica range. 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 blaze was also burning in parts of Los Angeles County.

Shari Bernacett said her husband tried to get people to leave the Paradise mobile home park they manage.

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