Entire cities evacuate as hellish wildfires whip through California

A Cal Fire firefighter monitors a burning home as the Camp Fire moves through the area

A Cal Fire firefighter monitors a burning home as the Camp Fire moves through the area

Wildfires burned out of control on Friday across California, killing at least nine people in a mountain town and forcing residents to flee the upscale beach community of Malibu in the face of a monster fire storm.

A fast-moving wildfire that ravaged a Northern California town Thursday sent residents racing to escape on roads that turned into tunnels of fire as thick smoke darkened the daytime sky, wiping out what a Cal Fire official said was a couple of thousand structures.

In all, three major fires are burning across the state.

Some 20,000 people have been ordered to evacuate, according to the Houston Chronicle, and multiple highways in the area have been closed.

The freeway was closed in both directions near the Liberty Canyon Road exit due to "very active fire conditions", authorities said.

More than 250,000 people have been evacuated across the areas.

Where is the Woolsey Fire?

Two other fires broke out in southern California, one in Ventura County near Thousand Oaks, where a Marine Corps veteran shot dead 12 people in a country music bar on Wednesday night. The nearby Hill Fire ignited around the same time and has since grown to 6,100 acres.

The "Woolsey Fire" has jumped Highway 101 near the town of Agoura Hills and portions of the main coastal north-south artery have been shut down, triggering mandatory evacuations, including the entire city of Malibu.

At midday on Friday local time, it covered about 5665 hectares.

State fire official Koby Johns said 2,000 buildings have been destroyed and another 2,000 buildings and 15,000 homes were "at imminent danger of burning". "Imminent threat! Malibu lakes residents must leave area immediately".

"Just landed back home and had one hour to pack up and evacuate our home".

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"I was frantic", she said.

Her husband, the rapper Kanye West, said their family was "safe and close".

The singer Cher, who is performing in Las Vegas, tweeted that she was anxious about her Malibu home.

The blaze also forced the partial evacuation of Malibu, a city of about 13,000 people that is home to many Hollywood celebrities.

Where is the Camp Fire?

Firefighter Adrien Mahnke pauses while battling the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on November 8, 2018.

The fire has also reportedly destroyed the set for popular TV series Westworld, with one person tweeting photos of the destruction saying it had "burned to the ground".

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference on Friday that the remains of five victims were found in or near burnt-out cars.

She and her husband "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as numerous residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible, Bernacett said.

"This event was the worst-case scenario", he said.

'The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds, ' Carhart said.

"There was really no firefight involved", Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people get out alive.

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