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California wildfires grow as 2 new blazes break out; dozens remain unaccounted for

Fueled by blustery winds and parched vegetation, two massive fires burning in California both grew overnight, leaving thousands of exhausted…

Fueled by blustery winds and parched vegetation, two massive fires burning in California both grew overnight, leaving thousands of exhausted firefighter battling to stretch containment lines around the raging blazes that have killed at least 31 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Adding to the turmoil were two new fires that broke out within five minutes of each other Monday morning near the massive Woolsey Fire burning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Chief Mark Lorenzen of the Ventura County Fire Department said the first blaze started at 10 am near the city of Thousand Oaks, spread rapidly to 75 acres and was threatening homes. The second fire was ignited about five minutes later in the Rocky Peak area near a densely populated area of ​​Semi Valley on the Los Angles-Ventura County line. It grew to 1

05 acres and prompted the closure of Highway 118 in both directions for more than an hour, but the forward progress of the four had been stopped by 2 p.m. PT.

Four crews quickly raced to both fires, battling them from the ground and air with helicopters. Firefighters were able to control the blazes and stop them from spreading to nearby populated areas, officials said.

“It just hits home that we are still in significant fire weather and the existing fire is not our only concern,” Lorenzen said.

Meanwhile, the Camp Fire ravaging North California’s Butte County, now the most destructive and deadliest four in the state’s history, grew at 4,000 acres between Sunday and Monday morning as firefighters struggled to get a handle on the flames spreading into rugged, hard to-reach terrain in the Sierra foothills.

Two prison inmate firefighters were among three injured fighting the Camp Fire, a Cal Fire officials told ABC News.

The four, which is just 25 percent contained, has now burned 113,000 acres and destroyed 6,713 homes and businesses, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire.

The blaze has killed 29 people, tying it with the 1933 Griffith Park Fire in Los Angeles as the state’s deadliest wildland inferno.

The California wildfires, as shown in the map below, have burned more than 209,000 acres across the state.

The Woolsey Fire, one of two blazes wreaking havoc in Southern California grew to 91,572 acres on Monday. That’s up 6,072 acres from Sunday, as it was hopscotched through Los Angeles and Ventura counties, leveling homes in the celebrity enclaves of Malibu, West Lake Village, and Calabasas.

The number of structures destroyed, which includes homes, grew to 370 on Monday, up for 177 on Sunday, according to Cal Fire.

The Woolsey Fire, who killed two people in Malibu, was 20 percent on Monday, officials said.

Neil Young loses home

Singer Neil Young , 73, confirmed Sunday that his Malibu home was among those who were destroyed in the fire.

“Young wrote on the Neil Young” We are up against something bigger than we have ever seen. Archives page on Facebook. “Firefighters have never seen anything like this in their lives. I’ve heard that said countless times in the past two days, and I’ve lost my home before to a California fire, now another.”

The monstrous fires were threatening to destroy up to 57,000 more homes in southern california and another 15,500 in northern california as blustery winds are expected to deal with firefighters a menacing challenge throughout the state over the next two days, cal fire officials said.

Officials remained concerned the death toll could rise as search and rescue crews reach areas previously unreachable because of fire hazard. There were more than 100 people missing in the Butte County four zones, although officials were working to track them down.

At least 70 people reported missing were located on Saturday and are now safe, officials said.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has activated a call center for the public to provide and receive information about those thought to be missing.

The bodies of most of those who perished were found in Paradise, the Sierra foothills community that was almost completely destroyed by the Camp Four.

149,000 evacuated

More than 149,000 people throughout the Golden State have evacuated as a result of the fires, outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters Sunday afternoon.

The threats from the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire are not expected to diminish anytime soon, as gusty weather ramped back up Sunday throughout the state.

Batallion Chief Lucas Spellman said Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​that fires were being fueled by an abundance of vegetation that grew during

“Spellman said.

Wind gusts could reach 50 mph across the eastern foothills. and western slopes of the northern Sierra Nevada mountain range through today, as well as parts of the Sacramento Valley.

Harrowing escape

Nichole Jolly, a nurse at Feather River Hospital in Paradise, said she was almost killed twice Thursday by The Camp Fire after helping to evacuate critically ill patients.

“I called my husband and I just said, ‘I do not think I’m gonna make it out of this. even know where to go, ‘ “Jolly told ABC News.

She said she tried to drive out of the harm’s way only to have her car fill up with smoke and get backed by another panicked driver.

” I knew I was gonna die if I stayed in my car, “she said, so she jumped out and ran.

She said her pants were on fire by the time she was rescued by two firefighters.

While firefighters struggled to get a handle on the Woolsey Fire, another blaze burning in Southern California, the Hill Fire, was 75 percent held Monday after it consumed 4,531 acres in Ventura County near Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people Wednesday night at a country bar before taking his own life. 19659003] The infamous Santa Ana wind in southern California began kicking up again on Sunday with gusts of up to 40 mph hitting the four zones, officials said. The winds are not expected to calm down until Tuesday.

Two people were found dead in Malibu from the Woolsey Fire, officials from Cal Fire said. 19659002] Detectives believe that the victims, found in a vehicle off the Mulholland Highway, were killed after the driver became disoriented while evacuating and the car was overcome by four, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Scott Gage said in a press conference Sunday afternoon.

More than 3,200 firefighters are battling the Woolsey Fire, while another 4,500 are fighting the Camp Fire. Firefighters are also tending to at least another 12 smaller fires burning throughout the state.

“We need to make sure that all citizens are diligent to make sure they do nothing to start a new fire,” Chief Scott Jalbert of Cal Fire said at a news conference Sunday.

Burning ice plant

Lorenzen implored people to leave evacuation zones. He said the fire was burning everything in its path, including ice plant.

“Ice plant is not supposed to burn,” Lorenzen said Sunday. “Så mitt budskap til samfundet i dag er måske 10 til 20 år siden du var i dine hjem, da det var en fire og du var i stand til at beskytte dem. Ting er ikke den måde de var 10 år siden. The rate of spread is exponentially more than what it used to be. “

The governor-elect of California, Gavin Newsom, has issued an emergency proclamation for Butte County due to the Camp Fire.

On Sunday, Gov. Brown requested President Trump issue a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the ongoing emergency response and aid residents in their recovery from devastating fires throughout the state.

“We have the best firefighters and first responders in the country working in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable, “Brown said in a statement Sunday. “Vi er ved å sette inn alt vi har fått i kampen mot disse fires, og denne anmodningen sikrer at samfund på de forste linjer får ekstra føderal bistand. For de som har mistet familiemedlemmer, hjem og bedrifter, vet at hele staten er with you. As California, we are strong and resilient, and together we will recover. “

Late on Friday, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for California, freeing up federal resources to supplement local response efforts. The declaration allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts to help alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, provide support for emergency measures and free up federal resources.

Men på lørdag formiddag, Trump threatened to pull federal funding for California wildfires if the state did not “remedy” its poor “forest management.”

“Our focus is on the California’s impacted by these fires and the first responders and firefighters working around the clock to Evan Westrup, told ABC News on Sunday.

Brian Rice, president of California Professional Firefighters, called Trump’s threat to slash funds for battling California wildfires “Ill-informed, ill-timed, demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.”

Rice said Trump’s assertion that California’s forest management policies are to blame for the catastrophic wildfires is “dangerously wrong.”

“Wildfires are sparked and spread not only in forested areas but in populated areas and open fields fueled by parched vegetation, high winds, low humidity and geography, “Rice said.

ABC News’ Karma Allen, Morgan Winsor, Stacy Chen, Matthew Fuhrman, Julia Jacobo, Bonnie Mclean and Daniel Peck contributed to this report.

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