Tens of thousands flee fast-moving Northern California fire

The massive plume from the Camp Fire burning in the Feather River Canyon near Paradise Calif. wafts over the Sacramento Valley as seen from Chico Calif. on Thursday Nov. 8 2018. Authorities in Northern California have ordered mandatory evacuations

In Northern California, a blaze visible by satellite consumed the town of Paradise on Thursday and had burned almost 110 square miles by Friday morning.

Amid the chaotic spread of the Camp Fire in Butte County, which devastated the town of Paradise, scores of users took to social media Thursday and Friday to report missing family members and friends who live in the area.

Fanned by strong winds, it has scorched 70,000 acres (28,300 hectares) and has not been contained, the California Fire Department (Cal Fire) said.

The "Woolsey Fire", in Ventura County sparked evacuation orders for parts of the city of Thousand Oaks, where a Marine Corps veteran shot dead 12 people in a country music bar on Wednesday night.

The Butte county sheriff's office says an evacuation order was issued on Friday for the small communities of Stirling City and Inskip, north of Paradise, where thousands of homes were destroyed. "We were driving through fire on each side of the road", police officer Mark Bass said.

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On Thursday, acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California and requested a presidential disaster declaration, saying that unsafe weather conditions were expected to last several days.

Thousands more residents have since been ordered to evacuate towns to the west, including Calabasas, the south of Highway 101, and Malibu on the coast, as well as from the western edge of Los Angeles.

Adding to the complexity of the disaster is tonight the district's youth convention is being held at Trinity Life Center in Sacramento - a destination city for numerous thousands evacuating fire-threatened communities.

"It was absolutely dark", said resident Mike Molloy, who said he made a decision based on the wind to leave Thursday morning, packing only the minimum and joining a sea of other vehicles.

Firefighters battle to save structures while battling the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 8, 2018.

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The Woolsey fire destroyed dozens homes on Friday, including Caitlyn Jenner's, forcing total evacuations of Malibu and Hidden Hills in one of the worst L.A. blazes in recent memory.

The blaze also forced the partial evacuation of Malibu, a city of about 13,000 people that is home to many Hollywood celebrities.

Thousand Oaks is a 30-minute drive north of Malibu. "Just landed back home and had one hour to pack up and evacuate our home. I pray everyone is safe", she said. Then she reconsidered, thinking: "I'm really scared".

Butte County Cal Fire Chief Darren Read said in a press conference that several hundred buildings, possibly as many as 1,000 or more, were destroyed in the town, which is home to about 27,000 people.

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