Five die in California wildfires, 150,000 forced to flee

Cathy Fallon reacts as she stands near the charred remains of her home November 9 in Paradise.

Cathy Fallon reacts as she stands near the charred remains of her home November 9 in Paradise."I'll be darned if I'm going to let those horses burn in the fire" said Fallon who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses all of which surv

"It was the event we have feared for a long time", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a press conference.

But an expected narrow window of calm is giving firefighters hope of slowing the flames that have marched a path of destruction toward the sea, burning everything from mobile homes to mansions.

Ventura County fire chief Mark Lorenzen said some firefighters were "literally pulling people out of burning homes".

A sheriff's spokeswoman has confirmed a sixth death in a Northern California wildfire that has forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate. Two people were reported killed.

The two bodies were found severely burned inside a vehicle on a long residential driveway in Malibu, Los Angeles County sheriff's Chief John Benedict said.

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Some of Hollywood's biggest stars, including Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian, were among the evacuees.

On Thursday night, the Hill Fire posed an immediate threat to Ventura County residents, including those in Thousand Oaks, where the mass shooting in Borderline Bar & Grill that killed 12 occurred just the night before. Nine people have died in the infernos, some found still near their cars and others near or in their homes in what remains of Paradise, a northern California community of 27,000 people.

In the southern part of the state, Santa Ana winds were fanning two major wildfires. It charred 20,000 acres Thursday in less than 14 hours and has burned an area larger than Manhattan, according to CNN meteorologists. Acting Governor Gavin Newsom called a state of emergency in Butte County. I'm very irritated that fire did not anticipate this, did not get assets here, did not realize that we would have 3,500 people on this campus.

"There's not going to be any relief in this firefight", he said.
In addition to killing at least nine people in Paradise, it has destroyed 6,453 structures. The other victims were found near or inside homes that burned. CNN also reported that there have been 5 casualties as a result of the fire. "Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", said Cal Fire Captain Scott McLean. They were backed up by helicopters and water tankers. Fire officials said three firefighters and some civilians were wounded but details about their injuries were unknown. The TV series "Westworld" is among the many productions that have filmed at the ranch in the mountains west of Los Angeles.

Three-quarters of the city of 130,000 was under evacuation orders, Thousand Oaks mayor Andy Fox said.

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