Deadly wildfire levels California town in less than a day

NEW YORK POST:

No one is left in Paradise. Abandoned, charred vehicles clutter the main thoroughfare, evidence of the panicked evacuation a day earlier as a wildfire tore through the Northern California community.

Nine people have been found dead. Entire neighborhoods are leveled. The business district is destroyed. In one day, this Sierra Nevada foothill town of 27,000 founded in the 1800s was largely incinerated by flames that moved so fast there was nothing firefighters could do.

The blaze that started Thursday outside the hilly town of Paradise has grown to 156 square miles and destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, almost all of them homes, making it California’s most destructive wildfire since record-keeping began. But crews have made gains and the fire is partially contained, officials said Saturday.

The dead were found inside their cars and outside vehicles or homes after a desperate evacuation that Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea called “the worst-case scenario.” Their identities were not yet known.

“It is what we feared for a long time,” Honea said, noting that there was no time to go door to door.

Fires were also burning in Southern California , where a blaze that tore through Malibu mansions and working-class suburban homes in Southern California’s hills and canyons killed two people and had more than doubled in size by Saturday.

More at the NY Post

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