9 dead as wildfires rage across California

Fires burn around the state

California wildfires turn deadly

(CNN) – Thousands of firefighters are continuing to battle flames in California on Friday as authorities confirmed that nine people have died as a result of the Camp Fire in Northern California.

There, the massive blaze has forced tens of thousands of evacuations.

Residents of the town of Paradise frantically evacuated as the fast-moving wildfire tore through Butte County.

The blaze was growing at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute early Thursday afternoon, injuring residents and firefighters, and by Friday had nearly quadrupled in size.

California wildfires turn fatal

The quick spread has been driven by low humidity and high winds.

More than 17,000 homes and commercial buildings in northern California are in imminent danger of burning.

And the Camp Fire is just one of several blazes raging in the state.

To the south are more wildfires, which are forcing mandatory evacuations as crews work to save structures.

In Southern California, two other fires charred parts of Ventura County, including one called the “Woolsey Fire.”

Mandatory evacuations for Malibu were ordered on Friday and the “entire area south of 101 Fwy. from Ventura County line to Las Virgenes / Malibu Cyn, southward to the ocean,” the city said.

That blaze was threatening the homes of celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Will Smith.

Another, dubbed the “Hill Fire,” has also spread quickly, forcing mandatory evacuations.

Motorists on the 101 Freeway even turned around and started driving in the wrong direction to avoid a massive wall of smoke and fire.

Authorities shut down a section of the highway in both directions due to the Hill Fire, which is expected to tear a path to the Pacific Ocean.

Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking the federal government for help.

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