California wildfires destroy thousands of structures and force emergency evacuations

The Hill Fire started not far from the Thousand Oaks bar where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting.

As of Thursday evening, it was burning above Cal State University Channel Islands, in the footprint of the 2013 Springs Fire which burned 24,000 acres.

The Camp Fire in Northern California exploded in size Thursday, burning about 20,000 acres and overtaking the town of Paradise, where around 30,000 people were forced to evacuate at the last minute.

In Northern California's Butte County, a huge brush fire devasted the town of Paradise, where 1,000 structures were lost.

Friday morning, fire officials reported that the fire had jumped Highway 101 near the city of Calabasas.

The Woosley Fire exploded from 2,000 acres to 8,000 in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in a matter of hours Thursday night into Friday.

Evacuation notices were announced for Chico, which is home to around 93,000 people and is about 90 miles north of Sacramento. 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.

About 2:30 a.m., all evacuation orders in the city of Los Angeles were changed from mandatory to voluntary, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. "I pray everyone is safe", she wrote.

The Woolsey blaze also struck parts of Los Angeles County, where mandatory evacuation orders were given on Friday morning, United States time, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. The fast-moving Woolsey Fire had burned more than 14,000 acres Friday. There are Red Flag warnings in effect for parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Zoo staff have begun to evacuate some animals - starting with the lemurs - but the fire has not spread as fast as the Malibu blaze due to lighter winds.

For the latest updates, visit the Ventura County Fire Department, Public Information Officer Twitter here. Drought-stricken fuels, Santa Ana wind conditions, low relative humidity, high temperatures: "It's a recipe for fire", said Ventura County Fire Department Assistant Chief Chad Cook, the incident commander for the Hill Fire.

Residents took to social media to share their views of the flames almost consuming the hillside in Newbury Park, which borders Thousands Oaks to the west. Fire engines were not able to reach the fire, and firefighters were forced to hike in on foot and hose down vulnerable areas, while a firefighting helicopter hovered overhead. That affects all residents north of the 101 Freeway, south of Bell Canyon Road, west of Valley Circle Boulevard and east of the Los Angeles city limit.

As the Woolsey fire approaches Malibu, all areas south of the 101 Freeway from Ventura County line to Las Virgenes/Malibu Cyn, southward to the ocean, were told to leave immediately after the fire jumped the 101 at Liberty Cyn Rd and Chesebro Rd in nearby Agoura Hills.

Vanessa Coleman

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