California lashed by state's most deadly wildfires in a century

Satellite Image taken at 3:12 p.m. The blue lake in the center with the white line through it is Lake Tahoe with California's border overlayed in white

The California Department of Forestry and Fire protection - known as CAL Fire - said: "Firefighters continue to be challenged with extreme fire and weather conditions including strong winds and with long range spotting". They all had harrowing tales of a slow-motion escape from a fire so close they could feel the heat inside their vehicles as they sat stuck in a terrifying traffic jam. By Thursday evening, it had scorched up to 7,000 acres and sent residents of more than 1,200 homes fleeing, the Los Angeles Times reports. After an hour of no movement, she abandoned the truck and chose to try her luck on foot.

In Los Angeles, another, smaller fire in Griffith Park forced the Los Angeles Zoo to evacuate a number of show birds and some small primates on Friday as flames came within less than 2 miles (3 km) of the facility, zoo officials said in a statement. "I'm driving through fire as we speak".

Adding to the complexity of the disaster is tonight the district's youth convention is being held at Trinity Life Center in Sacramento - a destination city for numerous thousands evacuating fire-threatened communities.

The Los Angeles Fire Department announced the evacuation order for West Hills about 6:45 p.m. He had tweeted about 200 times by Friday morning regarding the Camp Fire and people and pets reported missing or found, including some of their home addresses for use with the Red Cross registry.

Harrowing tales of escape and heroic rescues emerged from Paradise, where the entire community of 27,000 was ordered to evacuate. Firefighters were able to stop the flames at the edge of the city, where evacuation orders remained in place Friday, said Cal Fire Cpt. Seven burned out Mercedes chassis are all that's left of Ernst Mercedes Specialist lot.

"It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us", Bass said.

Morgan Mason said her father told her that he could hear propane tanks blowing up all over Paradise this morning.

"I feel very vulnerable posting this, but I feel I should", she wrote in the post.

On the outskirts of town, Patrick Knuthson, a fourth-generation resident, said only two of the 22 homes that once stood on his street are still there - his and a neighbor's. In 1993, the Old Topanga Fire burned 16,800 acres and destroyed 369 homes, killing three. "And it moved very, very quickly from a rather remote area to populated areas".

The three wildfires now burning in California are moving across land with a terrifying speed.

Among the celebrity homes reportedly damaged - if not destroyed - was the home of Caitlyn Jenner, who posted an Instagram video reporting that she was in a safe house, but wasn't sure what has become of her home.

"F-ing Paradise is gone", she said.

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