Massive wildfires rage in California

By Veronica Rocha, Jessie Yeung, Brian Ries and Eric Levenson, CNN

Updated 11:54 a.m. ET, October 5, 2019
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12:26 p.m. ET, November 12, 2018

The Woolsey Fire is now 91,000 acres

From CNN's Stella Chan

Firefighters battle a blaze at the Salvation Army Camp on Nov. 10, 2018 in Malibu, California.
Firefighters battle a blaze at the Salvation Army Camp on Nov. 10, 2018 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

The Woolsey Fire in Southern California has charred 91,572 acres and is 20% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The area is under a red flag warning until Tuesday afternoon, and gusty winds and low humidity will persist.

Here's what we know about the fire so far:

  • Two deaths were reported in Malibu
  • 57,000 structures are threatened
  • At least 177 structures were destroyed, two were damaged

Malibu resident Ari Soffer took this video of some of the damage:

10:44 a.m. ET, November 12, 2018

How to help those affected by the California wildfires

From CNN's Bethany Hines

At least 31 people were killed and more than 300,000 people have evacuated as three massive wildfires burn across California.

Below are ways you can assist those affected or get help if you're in need.

  • Transportation: Lyft is offering free rides to people in the areas. Dial 2-1-1 for assistance.
  • Communication: Let your family know you're safe by using Facebook's safety check for both counties. AT&T is allowing unlimited talk, text and data access to all customers in Southern California.
  • Shelter: Airbnb hosts are providing free rooms in Ventura and Butte counties until November 29. The city of Rolling Hills Estates is accepting horses affected by the Woolsey fire.
  • Donate: Organizations are on the ground with food, water and other relief supplies. You can donate here.
10:29 a.m. ET, November 12, 2018

Where the fires stand this morning

From CNN's Holly Yan and Susannah Cullinane

Camp Fire: The largest of the three major blazes, the Camp Fire has scorched 111,000 acres across Northern California and is about 25% contained, according to the state firefighting agency Cal Fire. It has destroyed an estimated 6,700 buildings, most of which were homes.

Woolsey and Hill fires: In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire had spread to 85,500 acres and is about 15% contained. The nearby Hill Fire covered 4,531 acres and was 75% contained. Together, the fires are responsible for the destruction of 179 structures, but another 57,000 are threatened, fire officials said.

Mass evacuations: More than 300,000 people have been forced from their homes statewide. The majority of those residents are in Los Angeles County, where 170,000 were evacuated.

The map below shows these and the other active fires burning in California.

10:13 a.m. ET, November 12, 2018

Why the California fires spread so quickly

From CNN's Ralph Ellis

The three wildfires are moving across land with a terrifying speed.

At its fastest, the Camp Fire in Northern California spread at more than a football field a second, or around 80 football fields per minute.

There are four main reasons why the fires are moving so fast:

  • Powerful winds are spreading the fires.
  • A lack of rain creates dry conditions.
  • The terrain of hills and canyons makes it hard for firefighters.
  • Climate change may be making things worse.

What about President Trump's assertion that the fires were because "forest management is so poor"? Not accurate, meteorologists said.

Watch more:

10:00 a.m. ET, November 12, 2018

Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, Gerard Butler all lose homes in fires

From CNN's Susannah Cullinane

The Woolsey Fire, which has burned 85,500 acres and is just 15 percent contained, has already destroyed 177 structures and threatens 57,000 structures more.

Neil Young, Robin Thicke, Gerard Butler and Miley Cyrus are among those whose houses were hit by the fire raging north of Los Angeles.

See their posts about the fire below:

In a post on his official website decrying the impact of climate change, Neil Young said "I have lost my home before to a California wildfire, now another."

10:00 a.m. ET, November 12, 2018

Malibu's mayor pro tem was hospitalized after trying to save his home from the Woolsey Fire

From CNN's Stella Chan

The Mayor Pro Tem of Malibu was hospitalized over the weekend while trying to save his home from burning in the Woolsey Fire, according to the city.

“Jefferson 'Zuma Jay' Wagner is recuperating at a local hospital from conditions related to his efforts to save his home on Friday night during the Woolsey Fire," according to a statement on the city’s webpage.

"The City extends its support and best wishes for a complete recovery and quick return to the community that he loves," the city added.

According to his bio page, Wagner is a special effects artist, runs Zuma Jay’s Surf Shop, and was elected to a second term this month.

3:50 p.m. ET, November 9, 2018

Camp Fire destroys an estimated 2,000 structures

The Camp Fire has destroyed an estimated 2,000 structures, "threatened" 15,000, and left three firefighters injured, according to the latest incident report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). 

“The fire burned through the Town of Paradise and Concow Thursday, these areas will continue to experience active burning throughout the day,” the report says.

“The fire continues to burn to the Northwest into Magalia and toward Stirling City. Extremely dry fuels and heavy fuel loads in combination with low relative humidity will continue to active fire and control efforts.”  

On Friday afternoon, five bodies were found in a vehicle that was caught in the flames.

By the numbers – the Camp Fire:

  • The fire is still listed at 70,000 acres with 5% containment
  • 303 engines
  • 11 water tenders
  • 18 helicopters
  • 59 hand crews
  • 24 dozers
  • 2,303 total personnel
11:54 a.m. ET, October 5, 2019

Camp Fire could be 4th destructive wildfire in California history

Calfire is currently estimating that 2,000 structures have burned in the Camp Fire. If that holds true it would be the 4th most destructive wildfire in California history.

It would also mean that five of the top ten most destructive California fires have happened in the past two years.

Last year's Tubbs fire is the most destructive with 5,636 structures burned.

3:32 p.m. ET, November 9, 2018

People turn to Facebook to request help

Early Friday morning, Facebook activated its Safety Check feature for the Woolsey Fire, allowing people in the area to mark themselves as "safe."

It also allowed those in the affected area to create fundraisers and ask for or offer help.

According to Facebook, more than 150 people requested help as of 1 p.m. ET this afternoon, asking for information, transportation and water.

Visit the Crisis Response page here.