5 dead in California wildfire

Captain Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire near the town of Paradise has grown to almost 110 square miles.

Law enforcement authorities in northern California said Friday that five people have died in a wildfire, one of three in the state that have leveled thousands of homes and forced widespread evacuations.

How big are the California wildfires? The fires grew to 20,000 acres from 5,000 earlier Thursday.

At least 75,000 homes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties were under evacuation orders due to the Woolsey Fire.

The flames descended on Paradise so quickly that many people were forced to abandon their cars and run for their lives down the sole road through the mountain town. This one is just to the east of that city, part of which was evacuated.

Emergency officials were urging residents to adhere to evacuation orders to avoid injury.

About 148,000 residents in Ventura and Los Angeles counties have evacuated or in process of evacuating, including a mandatory evacuation for all of Malibu, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

Firefighters went door to door urging people in the Malibu area to evacuate via the Pacific Coast Highway, which was turned into a 4-lane one-way road to safety.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS Flames burn inside a van as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Among those evacuated were all of the patients at the Feather River Hospital in Paradise.

'It's very chaotic, ' said Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol.

Evacuations were also issued north of the 101 Freeway from Valley Vista to Reyes Adobe in the areas of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village, as well as in West Hills.

"It's been a roller coaster", one Oak Park resident told CBS2, explaining he chose to stay behind and watch over his neighbors' homes in the area of Kellwood Ct. and Churchwood Dr. and had the utmost faith in firefighters. Millions of Californians remain under a "red flag" warning for conditions both ripe for fires and unhealthy air conditions.

In the San Francisco Bay area, some 180 miles away from Paradise, locals have been encouraged to stay indoors due to worsening air quality caused by smoke from the fire. On its website, LA County says there's no such thing as a wildfire season anymore - "fire season is now year-round".

"The first part of this fuel bed had not seen fire for many years".

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