Early reports this morning indicate the so-called Camp Fire exploded overnight, destroying thousands of homes and supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement home in what was once the community of Paradise in northern California. Two other brush fires are spreading near Los Angeles.
Those vicious conditions on Friday night gave way to a calm Sunday with winds reduce to breezes.
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". "The Los Angeles County Fire Department PIO said at 6:52 p.m. Friday, "...very significant number of homes in the operational area damaged or destroyed by fire", and that it had burned approximately 35,000 acres.
A wildfire comes down from a hilltop Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, near Newbury Park, Calif.
She added that 40,000 people have been evacuated and an estimated 2,000 structures have been destroyed.
Authorities said some 200,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders, including the entire city of Malibu.
That fire, burning west of Los Angeles, has burned at least 150 homes, according to The Associated Press. Two looters were arrested Friday, including one on Upper Ranch Road in the North Ranch section of Thousand Oaks. "We don't want any more". Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests.
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Residents couldn't believe their city, known to few outside California a week ago, could suddenly be gripped by two simultaneous horrors.
"It's devastating. It's like 'welcome to hell, '" resident Cynthia Ball said about the dual disasters outside a centre serving as a shelter for evacuees.
'I don't even know what to say. "It's like we're all walking around kind of in a trance".
Thousand Oaks was already reeling from a gunman's slaughter of a dozen people at a local bar only days earlier when it found itself under siege from the fire. A list compiled by a local news affiliate reports a growing number of missing people after almost the entire town of Paradise, population roughly 30,000, has been destroyed.
"I heard the flames have hit our property at our home in Hidden Hills but now are more contained and have stopped at the moment", she said on Twitter.
"We are prepared to evacuate as soon as we get the word", he said.
'We never heard from them again, ' Ms Lee said. "My girlfriend was driving".
By late Friday, the small Hill fire's advance had halted, but the Woolsey fire kept growing, with flames raging from Thousand Oaks south through the northwestern San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, headed toward the Pacific Ocean.