California fires: Malibu residents ordered to evacuate


The fire overnight jumped the 101 Freeway in the western end of Los Angeles County, forcing a shutdown of the major artery after drivers in some cases were forced to make U-turns and drive the opposite direction to avoid flames. By Thursday evening, it had scorched up to 7,000 acres and sent residents of more than 1,200 homes fleeing, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Los Angeles and Ventura county fire departments say multiple buildings have been destroyed or damaged, but exact numbers were not available early Friday. Officials have put most of Northern California under a Red Flag Warning, which means "extreme fire behaviour" can occur within 24 hours.

As of Friday morning, the Hill Fire had charred 6,100 acres in the Camarillo area, while the Woolsey Fire had blackened 14,000 acres and destroyed a significant number of structures after starting in Woolsey Canyon east of Simi Valley, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

"Please, please, please if you are asked to voluntarily leave the area, please do", Ventura County fire Capt. Scott Dettore told CNN affiliate KTLA on Friday morning.

As a result of the fire jumping the freeway, the City of Malibu was placed under mandatory evacuation orders, an emergency alert stated.

Strong wind is blowing two brush fires out of control in Ventura County, and one of them has closed a section of Highway 101.

The Los Angeles Police Department was placed on a citywide tactical alert early Friday to ensure all resources are available to assist with any evacuation orders and road closures prompted by the Woolsey Fire, according to a statement from the department.

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The fire has exploded to over 20,000 acres and there is no containment.

"It was so eerie", said surf documentarian Sam George, who evacuated Paradise Cove at 7:30am by driving north to Oxnard instead of south. "It cleared right as we passed Mugu rock".

The fire was driven by heavy winds last night. "We put a couple bikes in the back in case we had to abandon the vehicle, and now all we can do is sit here and watch it on TV".

Not too far away, firefighters were also battling the Hill Fire, which broke out along Hill Canyon in Santa Rosa Valley.

The swift-moving Camp Fire, raging about 80 miles north of Sacramento, consumed Paradise, and moved Friday morning into the eastern side of Chico, a city with a population of around 90,000.

Forecasters expect a break in the Santa Ana winds on Saturday and then a new round Sunday through Tuesday. "The region will likely remain under high pressure with light to locally moderate offshore flow for much of next week (Tue-Fri). While this won't be as critical for fires as what we're seeing now, or expect to see Sun/Mon, it does look like it will be another very dry week which won't help the situation any".