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California fires: locals share footage of the blaze


By Grace McGettigan
12th Nov 2018
California fires: locals share footage of the blaze

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.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ?W E E D Y B E A T S? (@weedybeats) on

Trump’s response

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!”

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