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California wildfires: 11 dead as hundreds of thousands flee deadly blazes

Saturday 10/November/2018 - 09:27 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
Emergency services in the US are battling to prevent multiple forest fires sweeping across the state of California، as hundreds of thousands of people including Hollywood stars are evacuated from their homes، as the Guardian said.
'Everything is gone': California town of Paradise mourns wildfire devastation
At least 11 people have been confirmed dead، with scores more reported missing amid fears the number of fatalities could rise.
Los Angeles county sheriff’s chief John Benedict said on Saturday morning two people had been found dead in the fire zone of the Wolsey fire، a southern California blaze. Nine people have been found dead in fires in northern California. The southern California deaths were the first from a pair of wildfires burning north and west of downtown Los Angeles that have torn through 109 sq miles and destroyed more than 150 homes.
Benedict gave no details on the deaths. He said sheriff’s detectives were investigating.
According to LA county fire chief Daryl Osby، the fire was still at 0% containment and 900 firefighters were battling the blaze. An estimated 70،000 acres have been scorched with significant structure loss، but no exact number of lost homes was available.
“From our perspective،” Osby said، “although we lost a lot of homes we saved thousands of homes.”
Resources were limited، he said، and agencies may still ask for state and federal assistance. Firefighters were reporting the most extreme conditions they had seen، from a fire fueled by dry winds and heat and made worse by years of drought.
Hospital workers and first responders evacuate patients from the Feather River Hospital in Paradise، California.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Hospital workers and first responders evacuate patients from the Feather River hospital in Paradise، California. Photograph: Justin SullivanGetty Images
There was a lull in the strong Santa Ana winds Saturday، but officials were expecting conditions to worsen over the weekend through the beginning of next week.
In Ventura county، 95،000 residents had been evacuated and 50 homes had been destroyed or damaged. There were two incidents of looting، with arrests for each. Ventura fire chief said “last night was a tough night”. As winds died down Saturday morning، he added that “we know Mother Nature has given us some reprieve today” but asked residents to nonetheless remain vigilant.

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