Motorists die as they flee California wildfires

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

A vintage auto rests among debris as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise.

A Cal Fire spokesman said around 2,000 buildings were believed to have been razed in Paradise.

Nine people were declared dead and 150,000 evacuated as fierce wildfires raged across the western USA state of California, with one rapidly spreading blaze threatening the famed resort of Malibu.

Surrounded by walls of flames, people drove through hell trying to escape as their homes burned to the ground. During the height of the blaze, firefighters completely surrendered firefighting duties in order to focus on rescuing people.

Fire officials issued a mandatory evacuation notice for homes east of Chico, a city of about 93,000 people situated about 90 miles (145 km) north of Sacramento.

Another fire to the west has burned more than 9 square miles in Ventura County but has slowed since reaching the footprint of a fire stripped away vegetation in 2013.

President Donald Trump blamed the fires on forest mismanagement and threatened to withdraw related federal funding. Reportedly, at least nine people in a mountain town.

Rural areas fared little better.

Kardashian, and her sister Kourtney, said they had left their homes in nearby Calabasas late on Thursday.

Paradise, a town of 27,000, sits directly in the Camp Fire's path.

"Anything to bring more attention to Paradise". "We're kind of all shaking right now".

The Camp Fire was the fiercest of several wind-driven blazes that erupted across the state on Thursday. The company said it later noticed damage to a transmission tower near the town.

Evacuation orders are in place for Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley while hundreds of firefighters battle the blaze.

There were no signs of life Friday on the road to Paradise except for the occasional bird chirp.

The resort is one of the most in-demand locations in California for Hollywood stars seeking privacy and luxury, and has been home to Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt and a host of other celebrities.

Thirty-thousand people have been evacuated so far and the number of evacuees is expected to rise as embers push ahead of the fire.

An AFP photographer on the scene saw houses enveloped in flames, while others had already been reduced to ashes and cars burned to husks.

"Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming", he said. She instantly found herself stuck in gridlock.

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

Many abandoned their cars on the side of the road, fleeing on foot. While walking, a stranger in the traffic jam rolled down her window asked Miller if she needed help. "People started getting out of their vehicles and running". She had to turn her vehicle around and head in another direction to escape, but that all the while, it "scared me to death". This is terrifying. I can't breathe. The she reconsidered, thinking: "I'm really scared, this is terrifying, I can't breathe, I can't see and maybe I should humble myself and get in this woman's vehicle".

The stranger ended up helping Miller pack up her mother and taking them to safety in Chico. It took three hours to travel the 14 miles.

In the first official report of fatalities, the Butte County Sheriff tweeted on Friday that investigators had found five dead bodies.

As of 5:30 a.m. ET, the fire was 0% contained.

Officials were sending as many crews as they could gather, Carhart said. "We're anxious sick. They do have a vehicle, but they both are older and can be confused at times".

"Not one home will be left standing", he said.

Thousands had to flee their homes in California wildfire.

A perimeter map shows the boundaries of the Hill Fire burning Friday in Ventura County.

This story has been amended to correct the last name of missing couple.



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