A wildfire destroyed most of a Northern California town of 27,000 people. A Cal Fire spokesman said “there’s nothing much left standing” in Paradise.
Late Friday morning, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said investigators found five victims’ bodies in vehicles overcome by the so-called “Camp Fire” in Paradise. The victims have not been identified.
Two more fires are burning north of Los Angeles. Fires across the state have forced 157,000 people from their homes, according to Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
Both fires are moving fast, fanned by strong winds.
The fire broke out near Thousand Oaks, an area about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles where an attacker killed 12 people on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of 75,000 homes.
Residents have now been ordered to evacuate from several more towns to the west of Thousand Oaks, including Calabasas immediately south of Highway 101 and Malibu on the coast, as well as from the western edge of Los Angeles.
A law enforcement official said that there was congestion on roads in an evacuation area near the so-called “Woolsey Fire” in Southern California. Division Chief John Benedict of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told reporters that people were evacuating an area south of the U.S. 101 freeway between Las Virgenes Canyon Road and the line between Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Benedict advised people to travel toward the coast and then east toward Santa Monica on the Pacific Coast Highway to ease the congestion. Benedict urged people evacuating to remember their identification, medication, personal documents and “anything that you might think that you’re going to need down the road.