Californians are being doused in water dropped by helicopters as they desperately flee wildfires that have left at least 44 people dead and 200 missing throughout the state.
Dramatic video shows a fire-fighting water-drop helicopter hitting cars in the south of the state where two new fires broke out on Monday, in addition to the Camp Fire in northern California that has killed 42 people and the Woolsey fire near LA that has killed two and destroyed dozens of homes including celebrity mansions.
Vehicles were seen hugging the inside of the interstate to avoid the heat and smoke, leaving the three lanes closest to the fire empty on the 118 Freeway in Simi Valley.
The footage further illustrates the intensity of the wildfires in California- the Camp Fire is the deadliest in the state’s history – at a time when temperatures are usually dropping and blazes are less frequent.
Cars were hugging the inside of the 118 freeway in southern California – with three lanes left empty as drivers tried to avoid the heat and smoke
Water-drop helicopters were dousing cars as well as the flames as they drove along the interstate in southern California
Two new fires broke out in south California – the Peak fire in Simi Valley (pictured) as well as one in Thousand Oaks which is still reeling from a mass shooting
Rest in peace: Ernest Foss, 54, of Paradise and Jesus ‘Zeus’ Fernandez, 48, of Concow, both died in the Camp Fire in California
Footage sees traffic backing up while helicopters and an air tanker fly back and forth overhead, to try to put out the fire – also soaking the cars on a tight bend. The Simi Valley blaze, dubbed the Peak Fire, has ravaged at least 105 acres, but fire crews said they stopped forward progress of the flames around 1pm yesterday.
The California Highway Patrol temporarily closed part of the road as firefighters worked to contain the flames.
Today, the first four victims of devastating fire in Camp Fire in northern California – the most deadly in the state’s history – have been named. All of them perished in or around the town of Paradise where the death toll has now reached 42 after the remains of another 13 people were found on Monday.
Ernest Foss, 65, of Paradise and Jesus ‘Zeus’ Fernandez, 48, of nearby Concow have today both been pictured as friends and family paid tributes to them on social media. Carl Wiley, 77 of Maglia and Ellen Walker, in her 70s, of Concow, have also been named as having fallen victim to the deadly blaze.
Family members of Lolene Rios, 58, have also identified her as another victim who was killed in Paradise.
Rios and her husband Rick, 69, had both relocated to Paradise after losing their home to another fire in Concow in the 1990s.
The retired couple, like many in the town, only found out about the blaze when it was too late.
Rick went on the roof of the couple’s home when he saw their neighbor’s house on fire, hoping he could still save their house by taking out any spot fires.
Rios went to the basement as she began gathering the family’s dogs. In moments, the house was up in flames.
Rick was rescued by firefighters who pulled him off the roof. He is now recovering in the hospital with severe burns on his hands and face, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
‘My dad is in a lot of pain,’ Maria Rios said. ‘He keeps saying, “I have no skin, no skin”. As soon as he heard my voice, he broke down. He kept saying, “Everything is gone. Everything is gone.”‘
Suspicions are growing that the deadly Camp Fire was caused by power lines.
A woman who owns property near the point where a deadly wildfire started in Northern says she was warned by a utility company last week that crews would need to come onto her land to investigate power lines causing sparks.
Betsy Ann Cowley said she had received an email the day before, on Wednesday, from Pacific Gas & Electric Co saying that crews needed to come to her property.
Two days before the fire started, PG&E told customers in nine counties, including Butte County, that it might shut off their power November 8 because of extreme fire danger.
But the utility company called off the shutdown, telling customers nine hours after the Camp Fire began that the weather conditions ‘did not warrant this safety measure’.
The fire started about 6.30am that morning.
Incredible photographs also show how the fire burned hot enough to melt cars.
The blaze was so hot that wheels, handles and rubber between the windows of vehicles melted, making it impossible for some people to drive as they fled for their lives.
Aluminum melts at 660.3 °C (1220°F) but wildfires can reach temperatures of upwards of 850°C (1562°F).
The other new blaze in southern California, the Lynn Fire, broke out in Thousand Oaks, which is still reeling from a horrific mass shooting that took 12 lives last week.
Devastating: This map shows the location of the two largest fires currently raging in California. The Camp fire is the deadliest in the state’s history killing 42 people. The Woolsey fire in southern California has killed two.
Incredible photographs also show how the Camp Fire that killed 42 people also burned hot enough to melt cars. The taillight of a car at a auto dealership destroyed in Paradise, California
Aluminum melts at 660.3 °C (1220°F) but wildfires can reach temperatures of upwards of 850°C (1562°F). Brad Weldon picks up a large piece of melted aluminum that was left after the Camp Fire devastated the entire town of Paradise
A melted bumper is seen on a car parked at a burned out gas station as the Camp fire tears through Paradise, California on November 8, 2018
Hero: Firefighter Shawn Slack rests after felling trees burned in the Camp Fire, in Paradise, California
A firefighter battles a fire along the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Simi Valley, California on Monday, November 12, 2018
Two new wildfires have broken out in Southern California as the state continues to fight back blazes that have left 42 dead and wreaked havoc for days. Pictured is the Peak fire on California State Route 118
An air tanker drops water on the Peak Fire next to the 118 Freeway in California. People could be seen turning their cars around and driving the wrong way on the freeway to get away from the smoke and flames. The California Highway Patrol temporarily closed part of the freeway as firefighters worked to contain the flames
The area covered by the Woolsey fire is shown in red on the right, while the Hill fire is in red on the left. Celebrities affected by the fire include: 1) Gerard Butler, whose house was partially destroyed; 2) Miley Cyrus, house destroyed; 3) Robin Thicke, house destroyed; 4) Lady Gaga, who has been evacuated; 5) Will Smith, evacuated; 6) Simon Cowell, evacuated
The Lynn Fire burned five acres but the Ventura County Fire Department said yesterday the threat to nearby structures was ‘diminishing’ as firefighters were able to ‘get a handle’ on the flames. By 11.45am on Monday, officials said surrounding homes were not under threat and that the fire was holding.
Meanwhile, crews taking advantage of a weekend lull in the Santa Ana winds had the immense Woolsey Fire about 30 per cent contained.
At least 435 buildings in the Woolsey Fire area, which stretches from north of Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, have burned down, and the hot embers smoldering there could become the sparks for more devastation, fire officials warned this week.
Fire crews stamping out the two new blazes on Monday were still working to corral the hot western and eastern sides of the fire, which had burned its way through drought-stricken canyonlands in and around Malibu, burning modest mobile homes as well as celebrity houses.
A helicopter circles overhead preparing to drop water onto the fire which broke out along the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Simi Valley, Southern California
Black smoke billows from the Peak Fire which broke out yesterday alongside the 118 Freeway in Simi Valley, southern California
The hot, dry gusty winds are expected to blow through Wednesday, although not quite as furiously as last week. Winds, coupled with higher average annual temperatures, tinder-dry brush and a lack of rain in recent years, make the ‘perfect ingredients’ for explosive fire growth around the state, said Chris Anthony, a division chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
‘I’ve been doing this job for 31 years and probably in the last five, maybe seven years, every year seems to get worse,’ California Fire Chief Scott Jalbert told The Associated Press.
The fire has burned more than 80 per cent of National Parks Service land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, officials said.
Fire officials lifted some evacuation orders Monday in Los Angeles County while warning Southern California residents to remain vigilant as strong winds fanned the new fires. While some returned home, others were told to leave. As one major freeway reopened, another was closed.
An air tanker drops water on a fire along the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Simi Valley amid clouds of thick black smoke
A car drives along the empty Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Simi Valley California in bad visibility caused by the Peak Fire
The return to normal for some was juxtaposed with the arrival of chaos for others, illustrating how quickly conditions can turn. At least 57,000 homes were still considered threatened, state fire officials said, and more than 200,000 people remained under evacuation orders.
Relief and heartache awaited those who were allowed to return home Monday. Paul Rasmussen, his pregnant wife and 6-year-old daughter fled their mountainside Malibu home Friday for what they thought would be the last time.
Paul Rasmussen gasped Monday as he rounded corners on the road home that revealed the extent of damage with more than a dozen nearby houses reduced to rubble. But their home survived. His next-door neighbor, Randy Berkeley, protected his home and the Rasmussens’ house.
Berkeley and his wife, Robyn Berkeley, choked back tears as they recounted their ordeal holding back a 100-foot wall of flames and then repeatedly beating back hot spots that continued to flare up throughout the night and next day.
The couple and their 25-year-old son, Colin, used hoses, buckets of water and chain saws to battle flames and cut back brush as the fire kept coming to life.
‘Just when you think everything is dying down, everything keeps coming back,’ Randy Berkeley said.
A pair of adults were found last week in a car overtaken by flames a couple miles from Rasmussen’s house. Those fatalities added to California’s growing wildfire-related death toll.
The scorched cat that survived devastating wildfires: Heartbreaking images show injured animals rescued in California blaze amid fears thousands have been killed
Hundreds of animals have been rescued, while unknown numbers are thought to have perished, in the deadly wildfires ravaging the state of California.
The Camp Fire devastating Northern California, and the Woolsey Fire, which is currently raging near Malibu in the south, have forced residents to flee their homes, many unable to also save their beloved pets.
Heartbreaking images show a cat with its eyes burned shut, a bunny rabbit which has lost its ears, and rescue workers desperately ferrying animals from the edge of the flames across the state.
Survivor: A badly burned cat cowers in agony after it was discovered near a residential block in Paradise, California. It later died
Heartbreaking: A rabbit suffering from burns struggles to find safety, as the Woolsey Fire continues to burn near Malibu in California
Injured: Shiloh, a two-year-old golden retriever, has suffered burns to her face and needs veterinarian treatment, but her owner, Cathy Fallon is refusing to leave her property because authorities will then not allow her to return due to the evacuation order
As the confirmed human death toll of Camp Fire reached 42 on Tuesday morning, with the flames having levelled more than 7,000 homes and other buildings, it now ranks as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in California.
It is not known how many animals – wild or pets – have been killed or injured in the wildfires, which have been raging since Thursday, but it is thought to be at least several thousand.
Rescuers hoped to be able to find treatment for the badly burned cat found on a residential street in Paradise over the weekend, as volunteers and other activists banded together to save as many animals as they could.
Urgent evacuation orders have seen many animals abandoned, including horses and other farm animals, with residents potentially underestimating how damaging the fire would become.
Equine veterinarian Jesse Jellison carries an injured goose to a waiting transport during the Camp Fire in Paradise, left, and a badly burned bunny rescued from the blaze gets treatment, right
Members of the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team, Ashley Nola, left, and Catherine McFarren, right, tend to burns on a dog that was brought in to the Butte County Fair Grounds where large animals are being sheltered during the Camp Fire
Horses are evacuated by members of the Humane Society of Ventura County from an area affected by a wildfire in Malibu, California
A donkey rests on a roadside as the Camp Fire burns in Big Bend, California
As well as pets, Northern California area is home to a myriad of wild animals, including several types of deer, black bears, bobcats, elks and cougars, and the Butte County area where Camp Fire burns hosts several wildlife sanctuaries.
Other common forest creatures are coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, skunks and foxes as well as a number of birds and snakes.
A makeshift animal clinic has been set up in the Butte County Fair Grounds, 30 miles south of Paradise, at the weekend, where emergency service veterinarians tended to dogs with burned paws and fur.
Goats and horses have also found temporary shelter at the Fair Grounds as the Camp Fire continues to burn through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County.
Stanley the giraffe, one of several exotic animals at Saddlerock Ranch, is shrouded in smoke in the aftermath of the Woosley Fire. The animals on the ranch survived, but several buildings on the property we destroyed or damaged by the fire
Elsewhere, celebrities including Khloe Kardashian and Ariel Winter slammed a wine estate in Malibu for allegedly abandoning a giraffe.
Malibu Wines which owns the Saddlerock Ranch where some exotic animals are kept, had reportedly abandoned Stanley the giraffe to his fate.
Pictures emerging from Stanley’s enclosure show him standing near a fence just meters away from scorched earth caused by the devastating fires and flames in the background.
Saddlerock Ranch claimed in a statement last week that the animals were being evacuated, however this has been disputed by activists, including actress Whitney Cummings who visited the site on Saturday and found Stanley in his pen.
The ranch said all animals on the ranch survived, but several buildings on the property we destroyed or damaged by the fire.
A fallen power line is seen on top of burnt out vehicles on the side of the road in Paradise, California after the Camp fire tore through the are
What appears to be figurines from a Christmas nativity scene is seen resting atop a scorched car in Paradise
Butte County Sheriff Cory Honea revealed that the remains of 13 additional people were located on Monday. Honea said 10 human remains were located in Paradise. Seven of those were found in homes and three outside. A body is recovered in Paradise, California
Northern California’s Camp Fire has become the deadliest wildfire in state history as the death toll climbs to 42. A body is recovered from the Ridewood Mobile Home Park on Monday
Smoke from the initial three California wildfires have been so intense that they even reached the metro Detroit area by Monday as it stretched across the US (pictured)
A wildfire-ravaged property is seen Monday in Malibu. Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby says he expects further damage assessments to show that hundreds more homes have been lost on top of the 370 already counted
The inside of a car that was completely incinerated as the Woolsey fire burned through Malibu over the weekend
Meanwhile, at least 42 people were confirmed dead in the Camp Fire which has obliterated the Northern California town of Paradise, making it the deadliest wildfire in recorded state history. The search for bodies continues and the cause of the fire is still being investigated.
The cause of the Southern California fires also remain under investigation.
Southern California Edison reported to the California Public Utilities Commission ‘out of an abundance of caution’ that there was an outage on an electrical circuit near where the fire started Thursday. The report said there was no indication its equipment was involved in the fire reported two minutes after the outage.
Downed powerlines and blown transformers have been blamed for several of the deadly fires that have burned in recent years.
All told, more 8,000 firefighters statewide were battling wildfires that destroyed more than 7,000 structures and scorched more than 325 square miles (840 square kilometers), the flames feeding on dry brush and driven by blowtorch winds.
‘It’s like a war zone’: Gerard Butler films the devastation surrounding his smoldering California home
Gerard Butler filmed the devastation around his smoldering neighborhood just a day after a horrifying California wildfire tore through the area.
Butler, whose home was destroyed, was driving around Point Dume on Saturday when he captured the destruction his community in two videos.
‘It’s like a war zone,’ Butler tells viewers as he surveys the area destroyed by the Woolsey blaze. ‘Every house after a certain point is gone.’
Gerard Butler filmed the devastation around his smoldering neighborhood just a day after a horrifying California wildfire tore through the area
‘What a difference a day can make to a community,’ the actor says as he walks into a backyard of a home.
Butler shared the videos on Instagram on Monday afternoon.
‘My heart aches for all those who lost their homes and their lives in California. A lot of people lost everything and will have to rebuild from scratch,’ he wrote in the caption.
‘I am ok and so grateful for all of the well wishes,’ Butler said before encouraging others to donate to a GoFundMe account that has been set up to help people across California affected by the fires.
Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, and Camille Grammer Meyer of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills were among those whose Malibu homes were destroyed in the Woolsey fire.
Butler, whose home was only partially destroyed, was driving around Point Dume on Saturday when he captured the destruction in two videos
‘It’s like a war zone,’ Butler tells viewers as he surveys the area. ‘Every house after a certain point is gone’
‘What a difference a day can make to a community,’ the actor says as he walks into a backyard of a home. Butler shared the videos on Instagram on Monday afternoon
Gerard Butler’s home is seen in ruins on November 12 after being destroyed by the Woosley Fire in Malibu, California
When the Camp Fire struck near Paradise on Thursday morning, 27,000 people tried to flee the town on roads that were quickly blocked (pictured, a downed power line stops traffic) or else clogged with cars
Journeys that should have taken minutes ended up taking hours, with dozens of people telling how they jumped out of the cars and ran, carrying whatever they could
A car sits next to a trail of metal which was melted by the heat of the fire before solidifying again as the blaze moved away