Most Destructive Fire Ever in California
PARADISE, California (AP) — Devastating wildfires on both ends of California pushed into new territory Saturday, as firefighters worked to contain blazes that already have claimed at least 25 lives, destroyed thousands of homes and scorched hundreds of square miles.
The three fires began Thursday — the largest in Northern California, where a Sierra Nevada town of 27,000 was destroyed by a fast moving-fire that quickly grew into the state's most destructive on record. In Southern California, two fires were burning in the drought-stricken canyons and hills north and west of downtown Los Angeles.
The death toll from the fire that quickly overwhelmed and incinerated the historic Northern California town of Paradise rose to 23 after 14 additional bodies were found Saturday.
Southern California's fire had destroyed at least 150 homes, from Malibu mansions to modest dwellings in inland canyon communities.
Hundreds of thousands across the region remain under evacuation orders, and could stay that way for days as winds pick up again.
Fire burned in famously ritzy coastal spots like Malibu, where Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West, Guillermo del Toro and Martin Sheen were among those forced out of their homes amid a citywide evacuation order.
The flames also stretched into the suburb of Thousand Oaks, a city of 130,000 people that just a few days ago saw 12 people killed in a mass shooting at a country music bar.
Wildfire raged on both sides of the city still in mourning, where about three-quarters of the population are under evacuation orders that officials urged them to heed.
"We've had a lot of tragedy in our community," said Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, whose district includes Thousand Oaks. "We don't want any more. We do not want any more lives lost."