5 people found dead in vehicles torched by fire

The fire has consumed more than 26 square miles (69 square kilometers) and forced residents of the town to evacuate. During the height of the blaze, firefighters completely surrendered firefighting duties in order to focus on rescuing people. Residents awoke to the stench of smoke and the morning horizon drenched in an ashen-orange that was hard to see or drive through, hindering evacuations. People reported seeing much of the community go up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement center.

At least one nursing home and the Feather River Hospital were evacuated and several homes were on fire, according to the Sacramento Bee, and the region is covered with thick, dark smoke.

"We had to drive through flames to make it out safely", she said.

Evacuation warnings were issued for the area west of Highway 99 form 149 north to the Chico city limits and west to the Midway, and Highway 32 at Nople Ave.to the Butte County Line earlier.

One elderly care home, Atria Senior Living's Paradise location, evacuated all 77 of its residents safely Thursday morning, relocating them temporarily to a Marriott in Rancho Cordova. The conditions there are bone dry and erratic winds with speeds ranging from 20 to 55 miles per hour are rapidly fanning the flames.

California Fire Capt. Scott McLean stressed that most of the town of Paradise was "pretty much...destroyed" in the fire.

Raging fires can be seen burning through the terrain on both sides of the road during Chatfield's distressing drive, and a passenger in the auto can be heard saying a prayer for safety.

Detective Mark Bass - who lives in Paradise, a town of 27,000 people, about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco - said he got his family to safety and then returned to help others. "It's that kind of devastation", he said.

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The fire, which began early yesterday, was the fiercest of several wind-driven blazes across California, during what has been one of the worst years for wildfires in the state.

A trio of rapidly expanding wildfires are burning in California, marking the latest in a string of harrowing climate-related disasters in America.

Malibu, known as the home of many Hollywood stars, has about 13,000 residents and lies along 34 kilometres of coast at the southern foot of the mountain range. More worrying is the Woolsey Fire, which threatens about 75,000 homes in both Ventura and Los Angeles Counties - including the entire city of Malibu.

The fire broke out on Thursday north west of Los Angeles and roared south, jumping the U.S. 101 freeway early on Friday and sweeping into the Santa Monica Mountains.

Fire officials said the flames were being fueled by winds, low humidity, dry air and severely parched brush and ground from months without rain.

By last night it had scorched up to 7,000 acres.

The fire has burned an estimated 2,000 structures and led authorities to order the evacuation of 52,000 people.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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