Northern California's Paradise 'Destroyed' as More Wildfires Rage

Satellite Image taken at 3:12 p.m. The blue lake in the center with the white line through it is Lake Tahoe with California's border overlayed in white

One town in northern California, the ironically named Paradise, population 27,000, has been incinerated, burned to the ground a fire which left apocalyptic scenes of empty, smouldering buildings and burned out cars in its wake.

"There was really no firefight involved", said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate.

"This event was the worst-case scenario".

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said the victims were found in the same area in Paradise, a town that has been destroyed by the flames. "Regrettably, not everybody made it out".

Among them was Kim Curtis, who was searching for her grandmother, who told family at 8 a.m. Thursday that she would flee her Paradise home in her Buick with her cat.

Dozens of other people were reported missing.

As surreal as those details often sound, they are a natural by-product of a town where entertainment is the principal industry and where the fires are focused on an area, Malibu, which is populated by numerous town's rich and famous. Seven burned out Mercedes chassis are all that's left of Ernst Mercedes Specialist lot.

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A Chico County police officer called in to "Shepard Smith Reporting" Friday to describe the devastation a deadly, fast-moving wildfire has caused in the town of Paradise, California. "Local pastors assure me that what's being seen in the media concerning these fires is not being blown out of proportion".

Cal Fire has used aircraft minimally because high winds diminish their effectiveness in dropping retardant, Pimlott explained during Friday morning's press conference.

Thousands of residents packed the Pacific Coast Highway to head south or took refuge on beaches, along with their horses and other pets. At least two firefighters have been injured and multiple civilians injured, but number aren't available yet, Butte County Fire Battalion Chief Bill Reid said Thursday. Residents awoke to the stench of smoke and the morning horizon drenched in an ashen-orange that was hard to see or drive through, hindering evacuations.

Actor Rainn Wilson said that resident of Thousand Oaks, still reeling from a Wednesday night shooting in which a gunman killed 12 people at a bar before killing himself, were now having to flee their homes.

"Fire is burning out of control, heading into populated areas of Malibu". On Friday, it climbed over the Santa Monica Mountains toward Malibu.

The Los Angeles county fire department tweets that the fire is headed to the ocean, punctuating the message with the declaration: "Imminent threat!"

Also burning in Ventura County was the Hill Fire, which had scorched about 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) on Friday morning, Lorenzen said.

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