The death toll from California’s ongoing wildfires has risen to 31, with more than 200 people still unaccounted for.
Emergency services are battling two major blazes in the north and south ends of the state; with the towns of Paradise and Woolsey most severely affected. Both fires started in woodland areas on Thursday, and firefighters are still struggling to get them under control.
Strong winds are forcing the flames further afield to the cities of Malibu and Los Angeles. Residents have been ordered to flee their homes via a mandatory evacuation notice from the Los Angeles Fire Department; who has described the inferno as the worst in Californian history.
Approximately 250,000 people have been relocated (or are in the process of relocating) to their nearest emergency shelters.
The fires in pictures
Local people and news agencies have been sharing footage of the fires on social media. Some show the strength of the flames, others highlight the fear among people as they flee.
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— Tyler Regna (@RegnaTyler) November 12, 2018
Extreme winds whip up flames from the raging Woolsey fire threatening Malibu, California creating a ‘firenado,’ spewing sparks and kicking up debris. https://abcnews.go.com/US/pair-southern-california-wildfires-growing-intensity-forcing-evacuations/story?id=59079366&cid=social_twitter_abcn pic.twitter.com/ceqI12zKlV
— ABC News (@ABC) November 11, 2018
Absolutely TERRIFYING video of California woman (Rebecca Hacket) driving through the raging fire: https://abc7.com/video-woman-drives-through-flames-to-flee-malibu-wildfire/4657381/ @joerogan pic.twitter.com/eiKYVthFmN
— Omar Baddar (@OmarBaddar) November 11, 2018
— Barb Jordan (@BarbJordan18) November 9, 2018
— AmandaPeixoto-Elkins (@amandaephoto) November 9, 2018
Horses evacuated from a fire in Malibu are tied up at lifeguard stations on Zuma Beach while dogs and deer roam burned out neighborhoods in Paradise as firefighters battle raging blazes across California
?Robyn Beck and Josh Edelson pic.twitter.com/qoi3i8GBqD
— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 12, 2018
My surreal backdrop in Malibu this morning, illustrating the destruction of the Woolsey Fire here in Southern California. pic.twitter.com/S4Bgb0JIk6
— Karin Caifa (@karincaifaCNN) November 12, 2018
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Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LosAngelesFireDepartment. If you can, support these brave men and women at SupportLAFD.org. Link in bio.
— Garrett Altmann (@blizzardofahhs) November 12, 2018
President Donald Trump has been widely criticised for his response to the crisis. Taking to Twitter, the 72-year-old said, “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.
“Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests,” he said. “Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, told CNN, “His comments are reckless and insulting to the firefighters and people being affected.”
Top photo: Los Angeles Fire Department via Twitter