11 dead in California's devastating forest fires. This is what you should know



Authorities confirmed on Saturday that two more people died in forest fires that spread throughout California, bringing the death toll to 11.

The fires, which began earlier this week, have destroyed thousands of structures and sent people fleeing as cities and forests burn across the state.

As badociated pressOfficials took advantage of the conditions of temporary calm on Saturday to badess the damage caused by the Woolsey wildfire that has so far burned 109 square miles north and west of downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Chief John Benedict confirmed that the two most recent victims were found dead, but did not provide details about the deaths, AP said.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said Friday that five people were found dead in vehicles burned by the Camp Fire, which devastated the city of Paradise, Calif., On Thursday. The vehicles were defeated by the flames of the fire, which had grown to about 110 square miles and had forced thousands to evacuate. Due to extensive burn injuries, the authorities did not immediately identify the victims. According to CNN, four other victims were found on Friday near or inside the houses that were burned.

Several active fires are burning in parts of northern California, and further south, several fires are centered in the Los Angeles area, according to a California wildfire map.

Windy weather throughout California has caused the risk of an extreme fire hazard, according to the Associated Press. A forest fire north of Los Angeles burned up to 15 square miles, destroying at least one house on Thursday.

By Saturday, the Camp Fire has quickly become the most destructive fire in the state in at least a century, reports The Associated Press. In Paradise, California, more than 6,700 structures, almost all of them houses, have been destroyed.

According to the AP, Southern California state officials estimate the total number of people forced out of their homes by all active wildfires at around 250,000.

The entire city of Malibu was ordered to evacuate. It is home to 13,000 people, including some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

President Trump tweeted about the wildfire Saturday morning without mentioning the victims. Instead, he criticized forest management and threatened to withhold federal payments to California.

Here is the latest on California forest fires.

Where are the California forest fires?

The previous forest fire map from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shows fires in various parts of the state. Fires are spreading through multiple national forests, including the Sierra Nevada National Forest, the Mendocino National Forest, the Modoc National Forest, the Lbaden National Forest and the Plumas National Forest.

The California wildfire map also shows fires in areas north and south of San Francisco and parts surrounding Los Angeles.

How big are the wildfires in California?

A wildfire burning in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada quadrupled in size, cutting off the power supply of more than 23,000 homes and businesses on Thursday night. The fires increased to 20,000 acres from 5,000 the previous Thursday. The entire city of Paradise, California, was razed, with more than a thousand buildings destroyed.

Wildfires also broke out in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, causing evacuations and burning about 12,000 acres. At least 75,000 homes in western Los Angeles and eastern Ventura County were evacuated. The city of Malibu was under mandatory evacuation orders on Friday morning. Residents were advised to avoid the canyon roads and use the Pacific Coast Highway while evacuating.

Where are the people evacuated?

Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders on Thursday in rural areas of northern California, AP reports. The 27,000 residents of Paradise, California, were ordered to evacuate the area on Thursday. Staff and 41 patients at the Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise evacuated to other hospitals because it was close to the approaching forest fire. Highway 70, located near the wildfire, was closed and the California Highway Patrol asked drivers to avoid the highway.

In southern California, authorities issued evacuation orders quickly Thursday when fires broke out near Ventura County. Residents of the Camarillo Springs community and a trailer park were evacuated.

Schools and hospitals also evacuated. California State University ordered evacuations on Thursday afternoon, citing poor air quality.

Air quality warning issued in San Francisco and its surroundings.

Air quality in San Francisco and the surrounding areas were clbadified in an unhealthy range, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which issued a red alert and warned residents to close the windows, stay hydrated and stay indoors when possible.

District Air Quality Management District of the Bay Area

"The Bay Area will experience air quality impacts when smoke from Camp Fire in Butte County, northeast of the Bay Area, moves to the region," the alert says. "Most of the smoke is expected to remain high, but the public will probably see and smell the smoke of Camp Fire's rapid expansion."

Write to Mahita Gajanan at [email protected]


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