Fierce wildfire in Northern California incinerates town

Vehicles are seen during evacuation from Paradise to Chico in Butte County California U.S in this

Vehicles are seen during evacuation from Paradise to Chico in Butte County California U.S in this

Earlier in the day, Butte County officials announced five people who were fleeing the blaze had perished after the flames torched cars they were riding in.

The fire is being driven west by 35 miles per hour (56 kmh) winds, fire officials said.

County officials have pinpointed the origin of the blaze just south of the city of Simi Valley.

A school bus was among several abandoned vehicles left blackened by flames on one road.

Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for more than 50,000 people in the scenic area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, including some residents of Chico, population 93,000, near Paradise.

Speaking at a news conference with cooperating agencies, officials addressed the public from Silver County Fairgrounds Friday evening.

Home owner Will Buckley uses a shovel with dirt to try to stop the flames from from destroying a neighbor's home during the Woosley Fire in Malibu, California, U.S. November 9, 2018.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 621,743 acres (251,610 hectares) burned through Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, almost twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and almost triple the five-year average.

The Concow School sent its 60 students home, but many faculty members are anxious about their homes, said Golden Feather Union Elementary School District Superintendent Josh Peete.

There is no listed containment percentage for the wildfire just yet.

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"If you are ready to go, go", Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Chief John Benedict told those in evacuations areas. "All of it is engulfed in flames right now".

"There's nothing left standing", said Mr Maclean.

Among them was Kim Curtis, who was searching for her grandmother, who told family at 8 a.m. Thursday that she would flee her Paradise home in her Buick with her cat. "We're kind of all shaking right now".

The director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services says fires across California have forced 157,000 people from their homes. As of this morning, the Hill Fire had burned 7,000 acres and the Woolsey Fire 10,000.

Why are the fires moving so quickly?

Residents of the beachside city of Malibu have been ordered to evacuate as three fast-moving wildfires raged in California on Friday morning, including one that also spurred the evacuation of 75,000 homes near a city that was still reeling from a mass shooting.

The entire city of Malibu was ordered to evacuate as the Woolsey Fire, as it has been named, continues to get closer to residential buildings.

"This is a very risky wind driven fire".

The company said in a one-paragraph summary filed Thursday with state utility regulators that it had experienced an outage on the line about 15 minutes before the fire started.

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