The Camp Fire ignited Thursday and evolved into the most fierce of the wind-driven fires in what has been one of the worst years for wildfires in California.
'It's a very risky and very serious situation, ' Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told The Associated Press. "Regrettably, not everybody made it out".
What's left of a staircase stands amidst a smoldering home as the Camp fire tears through Paradise, north of Sacramento, California. A list compiled by a local news affiliate reports a growing number of missing people after almost the entire town of Paradise, population roughly 30,000, has been destroyed.
Harrowing tales of escape and heroic rescues emerged from Paradise, where the entire community of 27,000 was ordered to evacuate.
Residents spoke of flames approaching their vehicles on the gridlocked roads and said electricity poles came crashing down.
A piece of art sits outside the burned remains of home Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, that was destroyed by a wildfire that swept through the area Thursday, in Paradise, California. The Tubbs Fire, which destroyed 5,636 structures in Napa and Sonoma counties in October 2017, is listed by Cal Fire as the most destructive in state history.
In Malibu flames driven by hot winds raced down hillsides and through canyons toward multi-million dollar homes.
Mandatory evacuations were already in effect north of the 101 Freeway from Valley Vista to Reyes Adobe (areas of Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village).
"Fire is now burning out of control and heading into populated areas of Malibu", the city said in a statement online. There is also a power outage in the Big Rock neighborhood, which is outside the immediate evacuation area.
A row of burned vehicles are seen on Skyway during the Camp Fire in Paradise. Another fire was burning farther west in Ventura County, also moving toward the ocean.
A separate fire, 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. On Friday, it climbed over the Santa Monica Mountains toward Malibu.
Large animals can be evacuated to the Zuma Beach parking lot in Malibu (30050 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265), and Hansen Dam Equestrian Center (11127 Orcas Ave., Lake View Terrace CA 91342).
The flames destroyed hundreds of homes, a hospital, a gas station, several restaurants and numerous vehicles in Paradise, officials said. Thousands of firefighters are battling the flames.