​Death Toll Rises To Nine As California Wildfires Continue

At least nine people have died as the fierce California wildfires continue. Around 150,000 people have also been evacuated from their homes.

US President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency, having blamed the 'gross mismanagement of the forests' for the 'massive, deadly and costly' fires.

The fires have affected several areas in the state, including near Thousand Oaks - where 13 people were recently killed in a mass shooting, including perpetrator David Long.

Paradise, which has a population of 26,000, has also been struck badly, with the blaze having grown to nearly 140sq miles and destroyed around 6,500 structures.

Mayor Jody Jones saying: "There's really not much left. There are very few homes still standing and we've been in multiple different neighborhoods this afternoon."

Captain Scott McLean, of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also said there was 'really no firefight involved', explaining the crews had to give up attacking the flames and turn their attention to helping people get out alive.

"These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday," he said.

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed. It's that kind of devastation."

One social media user from Calabasas shared shocking footage of what he referred to as a 'fire tornado', writing: "This legitimately feels like biblical levels of destruction."

Many celebrities living in the area have taken to social media to share their experiences with the fire, while thanking the fire fighters, police, first and emergency responders for their work.

Rapper Kanye West tweeted to thank everyone for their prayers, saying that his family was 'safe and close'.

Singer Cher, who has had a house in Malibu since 1972, also wrote: "I'm worried about my house, but there is nothing I can do. Friends houses have burned. I can't bear the thought of there being no Malibu."

Lady Gaga shared videos on Instagram of everyone being evacuated against a backdrop of huge plumes of smoke.

The fire has also reportedly destroyed the set for popular TV series Westworld, with one person tweeting photos of the destruction saying it had 'burned to the ground'.

"Sad for fans of @WestworldHBO and shows like Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, the Paramount Ranch western town movie set has burned to the ground in the Woolsey Fire @CBSLA#westworld#Woolseyfire," they wrote.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013