Update (12th November): The death toll has in the California wildfires has risen to 31, with over 200 people still unaccounted for, the BBC reports.
Update (11th November): The death toll in California has risen to 25 as fire fighters race to slow down what is now considered the third deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history. Authorities say that there are at least 110 people still missing in the area, CNN reports.
Hill Fire, the smallest of the three wildfires, is reportedly 65% contained, while larger fires Woolsey and Camp are at 5% and 20%, respectively. In total, approximately 192,806 acres have been burned and more than 300,000 homes have been evacuated. According to NBC News, the Santa Ana winds, which are fuelling the fires, are expected to increase over the remainder of the weekend, which could pose a threat to further containing the fires.
This story was originally published on November 10, 2018 at 12:00pm and has been updated.
The wildfires are comprised of three separate fires. Camp Fire, the largest, is in Butte County, which is north of Sacramento in the California Central Valley. It is also the fire that caused the death of nine people, five of whom were seemingly overtaken by the blaze in their cars while trying to evacuate, according to the Sacramento Bee. As of Saturday morning, the fire was 20% contained, according to ABC.
The Woolsey Fire affects Malibu, Topanga Canyon, and the San Fernando Valley, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, has forced at least 250,000 people (including many celebrity residents, such as Kim Kardashian West) to evacuate. According to NBC Los Angeles, the fire has burned through at least 70,000 acres and was 0% contained on Saturday morning. The smaller Hill Fire is in Camarillo Springs and the Cal State Channel Islands and just a few miles away from Thousand Oaks, which is still reeling from a deadly mass shooting in a bar. It has burned through 6,000 acres of land, according to the Los Angeles Times.
For all the fires, poor conditions – including dry weather and fierce winds – have contributed to the difficulty of fighting them, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
The wildfires have also affected the Los Angeles Zoo. On Friday morning, a brush fire erupted in nearby Griffith Park, causing employees to close the zoo to the public and evacuate some animals, according to CNN. By late morning, the fire was extinguished. No structures were burned down and no animals or zoo employees were hurt. One firefighter was injured, though fire department officials said he wasn’t burned, according to the Los Angeles Times.
President Donald Trump remarked on the fires, issuing a deceleration of emergency for California and then threatening to cut federal funding to the state on Twitter citing poor forest management.