At least five people died in a Northern California wildfire as they desperately tried to flee in their cars, officials said Friday.
The victims were all found in vehicles that were torched by the fast-moving blaze in the Butte County town of Paradise, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.
“Due to the burn injuries, identification could not immediately be made,” the sheriff’s office said, adding that autopsies were pending.
The fire, which started early Thursday morning in Butte County – roughly 85 miles north of Sacramento – raced across the area, reducing Paradise, a town of 27,000, to ashes and leaving behind a trail of destruction.
The flames from the inferno called the Camp Fire moved so fast that firefighters did not even try to stop it, authorities said Friday as the blaze quadrupled in size.
“There was really no firefight involved,” said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, adding that responders instead helped to get people out alive. “These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday.”
Meanwhile, a set of other wildfires continued to burn and threaten regions about 500 miles away in Southern California.
On Friday, officials ordered the evacuation of the star-studded beachside community of Malibu as a wildfire encroached upon it.
“Fire is burning out of control, heading into populated areas of Malibu. All residents evacuate now,” the city of Malibu tweeted Friday afternoon.
Caitlyn Jenner’s home in the Malibu hills was destroyed by the blaze plaguing the area, TMZ reported Friday, citing sources.
With Post Wires Services