Published: Wed, November 14, 2018

Watch a wildfire nip at a highway in surreal video from California

Watch a wildfire nip at a highway in surreal video from California

California has endured two of the worst wildfire seasons in its history over the past couple of years, a situation experts attribute in large part to prolonged drought across much of the Western United States.

Thousands of firefighters battled blazes in northern and southern California on Tuesday (Nov 13) as body recovery teams searched the remains of houses and charred cars for victims of the deadliest wildfires in the history of the USA state.

As wildfires rage these days in southern California, burning glitzy towns like Malibu, the roster of evacuees reads like the guest list at the Oscars.

"If my dad hadn't have come home from work when he did, I probably wouldn't have gotten out of there, because I wouldn't have known", Bush said.

If there's any good news here, it's that the Peak Fire, which burned 186 acres, has been 100 percent contained according to California Fire officials.

Most of the fatalities have been reported from the town of Paradise, population 26,000, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains about 130 kilometres north of Sacramento.

The Camp Fire has so far consumed 113,000 acres of land and destroyed 6,713 properties, while another 15,500 structures remain threatened.

In Southern California, firefighters are still working to tame the Woolsey Fire that has ravaged scenic canyons and celebrity enclaves by the Pacific Ocean.


To the south, the Woolsey Fire has burned 96,314 acres and is 35 percent contained, Cal Fire said Tuesday morning.

The probe will "assess the compliance of electric facilities with applicable rules and regulations in fire impacted areas", said commission spokeswoman Terrie Prosper.

"We're starting to get a handle on this fire", said Captain Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department in an online briefing.

Hewitt said fire fighters worked tirelessly to fend off the flames. As KQED has reported, two electric utility companies reported service problems just minutes before the Woolsey and Camp fires began.

The Camp Fire's death toll has grown in staggering leaps.

Of the dead, only four sets of remains have been positively identified by Butte County authorities.

This fire has become the state's deadliest as more than 52,000 people have been evacuated and 1,385 are in shelters due to the Camp Fire. Last year's Tubbs Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties was blamed for killing 22 people.

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