Nine people were declared dead and tens of thousands evacuated Friday as fierce wildfires raged across the western USA state of California, with one rapidly spreading blaze threatening the famed resort of Malibu.
Two fast-moving wildfires that exploded in the Southern California hills have claimed nine lives and forced thousands to flee their homes, including the entire city of Malibu, a sprawling naval base and many Hollywood celebrity homes.
Two people were found dead and scores of houses from ranch homes to celebrities' mansions burned in a pair of wildfires that stretched across more than 100 square miles of Southern California, authorities said Saturday.
A former US Marine combat veteran opened fire in a bar packed with college students in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night, killing 12 people and stunning a community with a reputation for safety.
Some 150 homes had been burned and the number was expected to rise, he said.
The Woolsey Fire broke out on Thursday and quickly jumped the 101 Freeway in several places.
Wind gusts of 50 to 70 miles per hour (80 to 113 kph) were expected in the mountains of Ventura County and up to 50 miles per hour in the valleys and coastal areas of the county, the NWS said.
Families raced to escape the blaze as it consumed much of the town. Only a day after the Camp Fire began, the blaze had destroyed more than 6,700 structures, nearly all of them homes - making it California's most destructive wildfire since record-keeping began.
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The blaze began Thursday, and propelled by strong winds had by Friday approached the Pacific coast.
Some firefighters took to social media to contradict the president's analysis of the cause of the fires.
As winds subsided temporarily on Saturday, fire officials assessing damage from a wildfire t hat burned through wealthy enclaves and working-class suburbs near Los Angeles said two people were found dead in a fire zone that more than doubled in size overnight. Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said a "significant number" of homes had been destroyed by the flames but that an accurate count could not yet be made.
More than 250,000 people were ordered to evacuate as the Hill and Woolsey fires raged.
It has also destroyed an estimated 6,700 structures, an incident report by Cal Fire said.
"Fire is now burning out of control and headed into populated areas of Malibu", the city said in a statement online.
The massive blaze spread north on Friday, prompting officials to order the evacuation of Stirling City and Inskip, two communities north of Paradise along the Sierra Nevada foothills. "And as hard as it may be, homes can be rebuilt, property can be reacquired".
Thousands had to flee their homes in California wildfire.
"Mother Nature has given us a short reprieve ... but we know tomorrow Mother Nature's gonna turn her fan back on and the winds are going to start blowing", Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told reporters.