Wildfire deaths confirmed in Butte County as Newsom declares emergency for Ventura

Large fire threatens Ventura County communities 101 Freeway closed hundreds evacuated

"It was insane, because when we were sitting in traffic people were panicking", she said.

The fire started in the early hours of the morning near Pulga, a small community surrounded by the Plumas National Forest, officials said.

Cal Fire had not reported any firefighter fatalities related to containment efforts on the Camp Fire, nor the two burning in Ventura County, as of 10 a.m. Friday.

The full extent of the destruction is still unknown, but authorities believe up to 1,000 buildings have been destroyed - most of those in Paradise, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) spokesman said. "It was chaos. I couldn't believe what people were doing".

As another series of wildfires spread rapidly through California, more than 20 million people in the state are under red flag warnings Friday.

Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Butte County, where the fire was burning about 80 acres per minute at one point, according to UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain.

An 10,000 acre plus brush fire known as the Hill Fire is burning out of control on the Conejo Grade, north of Newbury Park.

The blaze comes in the wake of the Thousand Oaks shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday night that killed 13 people, including the gunman.

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The Los Angeles Police Department was placed on a citywide tactical alert early Friday to ensure all resources are available to assist with any evacuation orders and road closures prompted by the Woolsey Fire, according to a statement from the department.

"The first part of this fuel bed had not seen fire for many years".

The Ventura County fire department said Friday that 75,000 homes were ordered evacuated in the two adjoining counties west of Los Angeles. The arrows indicate the direction the fires spread after the satellite overflight.

California fire captain Scott McLean said earlier that "pretty much the entire community of Paradise is destroyed", adding that the fire had grown to nearly 110 square miles - four times its original size. "All residents, from Ventura County Line to the area of the Getty Villa and the Ventura (101) Freeway to the ocean, must evacuate as soon as possible".

Those who live there have been warned of an "imminent threat" to their safety, with thousands of people being urged to flee however they can.

The fire broke out Thursday northwest of Los Angeles and roared southward, jumping the US 101 freeway early Friday and sweeping into the Santa Monica Mountains.

The Woolsey Fire erupted about 2:30 p.m. Thursday near Simi Valley in Ventura County and grew to 2,000 acres by 6 p.m.

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