Trump Says Disastrous California Wildfires Caused 'Catastrophic Destruction'


Rescue workers recovered 14 more bodies of people killed by the late-season infernos as the death toll from destructive wildfires hitting California rose to 25. Of the remaining four, two were in cars and two were in houses in an area known as Concow.

Wildfires raged at both ends of California on Sunday, with the deadly infernos barely contained and strong winds and dry conditions in the forecast. The Woolsey Fire, which is burning in Ventura County, has killed two people, according to CAL Fire.

The fire's cause remained under investigation but Southern California Edison reported to the California Public Utilities Commission that there was an outage on an electrical circuit near where it started as Santa Ana winds blew through the region.

With winds expected to pick up on Sunday, Ventura County Fire Department Chief Mark Lorenzen warned residents to "stay vigilant".

The Republican president has previously blamed California officials for fires and threatened to withhold funding, saying the state should do more to remove rotten trees and other debris that fuel blazes.

Southern California's fire had destroyed at least 150 homes, from Malibu mansions to modest dwellings in inland canyon communities.

The so-called Camp fire that ravaged a swath of Northern California was the deadliest. The Hill Fire was at 4,500 acres.

President Donald Trump on Monday wrote on Twitter that he had approved a major disaster declaration for the state. "Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!" The destruction is catastrophic.

Crews pushed forward to achieve 25 percent containment of the Camp Fire in northern California, which had burned 111,000 acres (45,000 hectares) at the edge of the Plumas National Forest, according to Cal Fire's website.

The Camp Fire burns along a ridgetop near Big Bend, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.

And with the Woolsey Fire only 10 percent contained, it could roll south along the Pacific Coast, from Malibu to Topanga Canyon and on to Pacific Palisades, to the doorstep of Santa Monica. By Saturday, the death toll in and around the destroyed town of Paradise had reached 23, but it seemed likely to climb. Footage of the wind-driven wildfire was taken by a crew on board a Los Angeles County Fire Department Firehawk helicopter.

Entire neighborhoods were leveled, destroying more than 6,700 buildings, nearly all of them homes. The fire ignited in an area about 90-miles (140 kilometers) north of Sacramento.

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Families raced to escape the blaze as it consumed much of the town. "Your mother's somewhere and you don't know where she's at", he said.

"This weighs heavy on all of us", Honea said. "It's going to be a process - a lot of hard work, a lot of coming together". "We don't want any more".

An estimated 52,000 people evacuated in Butte County, where Paradise is located.

Three firefighters have been confirmed injured in the Camp Fire, with at least nine fatalities reported so far. About 35 people have been reported missing, authorities said. State officials put the total number of people forced from their homes statewide at more than 200,000.

Kelly said he had filled trash cans with water, soaked towels and readied a garden hose to defend his home early Friday, but when the air filled with smoke he and his wife fled the community where he has lived for 28 years and raised two children.

The fire crossed U.S. 101 a few miles east of Thousand Oaks - the site of Wednesday night's bar shooting - and was headed south to the Pacific coast in the direction of Malibu Creek State Park and the city of Malibu, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. The severely burned bodies were discovered in a long residential driveway in Malibu, home to a multitude of Hollywood celebrities.

Two arrests were made for looting in Ventura County.

State Sen. Henry Stern tried to reassure the crowd, empathizing as he insisted he's also a victim of the fires.

"With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California".

The Hill Fire is burning near the site of this week's mass shooting in Thousand Oaks.

Maclean said no details were immediately available about the circumstances of the deaths and that the victims' badly burned condition would make identification hard. Wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour were expected through Monday, conditions similar to when the fire started Thursday and quickly overtook Paradise.

The area burning in southern California is in severe drought, USA government analysts said.