California wildfire claims 5 lives and quadruples in size

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In Los Angeles, another, smaller fire in Griffith Park forced the Los Angeles Zoo to evacuate a number of show birds and some small primates on Friday as flames came within less than 2 miles (3 km) of the facility, zoo officials said in a statement.

The Camp Fire began near the town of Paradise Thursday morning and by afternoon had destroyed about 1,000 structures in the town, leaving many residents fleeing on foot as the fire burned uncontrolled.

The wildfire was reported at 6:30 a.m., Rick Carhart, a Cal Fire spokesman, said.

Many are searching for seniors who lived alone or at retirement homes. Less than an hour after CALFIRE published an update that the Camp Fire was up to 32km², the agency's public affairs office announced it was up to at least 68.8km² and the blaze is zero per cent contained.

Surrounded by walls of flames, people drove through hell trying to escape as their homes burned to the ground.

Last June, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection report determined that PG&E power lines and equipment failures were to blame for 12 of the catastrophic wildfires.

'We never heard from them again, ' Ms Lee said.

Only a day after it began, the blaze near the town of Paradise had grown to almost 110 square miles, and investigators found the dead in vehicles that were torched by the flames.

Queues to leave the city have resulted in traffic jams and gridlock, which has led people to leave cars abandoned on roads as they rush to safety.

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We rely on readers like you more than ever before to support us as we tell stories about the people and issues important to SLO County readers. "It's that kind of devastation", he said. "The town center is completely on the ground".

"We're working very hard to get people out".

Retired engineer Duane D'Amico and his dog narrowly escaped the oncoming flames.

Sanchez said he was in Sacramento Thursday seeing a cancer doctor when he got a call from his mother and his friends that his children had to evacuate. I woke up all my neighbors, got them out of bed. Fire officials said it was also moving toward the ocean. "And just praying for a miracle, honestly", said Curtis, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. "I don't think, there's not going to be a home left in Paradise". "I'm driving through fire as we speak".

The National Weather Service said conditions were "favourable" ahead of the weekend, with still very dry conditions but lighter winds.

The blaze adds to what is already one of the worst fire years ever in California.

Other celebrities in southern California who have reported on social media that they were evacuated from their homes due to the fast-moving fires include Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West, her sister Kourtney Kardashian and Mark Hammill. In Malibu - which has been home to Hollywood stars including Tom Hanks and Dustin Hoffman - flames leaped over the USA 101 freeway to threaten some of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods. Forecasters expect things to get worse today, as wind gusts will come close to 60 miles per hour amid very dry conditions.

Unbeknownst to residents, the Woolsey Fire had just ignited a short drive away.

By 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Paradise resident Tanah Clunies-Ross said she could not see her vehicle from her front door through the cloud of smoke. Hundreds of firefighters are still struggling to contain it.

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