Why the California wildfires are spreading so quickly

A home burns during the Camp fire in Paradise in Northern California on Nov. 8 2018

A home burns during the Camp fire in Paradise in Northern California on Nov. 8 2018

As the fast-moving fire ravaged Northern California, forcing an entire city of 27,000 to evacuate, highways were jammed with cars as people desperately tried to escape.

According to Allen, Thursday morning the Camp Fire was reported at 5,000 acres.

He said: "The town is devastated, everything is destroyed".

The National Weather Service issued red-flag warnings for fire dangers in many areas of the state, saying low humidity and strong winds were expected to continue through the evening.

Where is the Woolsey Fire spreading to?

Evacuation notices were set for homes on the east side of Chico, a city of about 93,000 people about 90 miles north of Sacramento.

When the order came to evacuate, it was like the entire town of 27,000 residents made a decision to leave at once, they said. On Instagram she urged people to "pray for Calabasas". "Just landed back home and had one hour to pack up and evacuate our home".

"I was frantic", she said.

What has happened in northern California?

The Butte County Sheriff's office said the victims were found dead in vehicles that had been burned by the Camp Fire that left a trail of destruction in its path.

A California fire official says six major fires are burning around the state, and characterized three of them as "critical".

The two fires burning just northwest of Los Angeles were zero per cent contained, and mandatory evacuations were in place for L.A. County and Ventura County.

A former U.S. Marine combat veteran opened fire in a bar packed with college students in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night, killing 12 people and stunning a community with a reputation for safety. The size of the fire is about 110 square miles, he said Friday.

About 3,300 students and staff members from Paradise's 11 schools were evacuated in buses and employees' cars to a center in Chico, Butte County Schools Superintendent Tim Taylor said.

A spokesman for the hospital operator, Dignity Health, reportedly told Action News Now that Feather River was later destroyed.

Malibu and Calabasas, west of Los Angeles, are home to hundreds of celebrities and entertainment executives attracted by ocean views, rolling hills and large, secluded estates.

For one desperate day, Dawn Johnson anxiously waited for news of her father Richard Wayne Wilson and his wife, Suzanne, who lived in an RV park in Paradise that burned. "You could feel it".

"There are times when you have such rapid-moving fires ... no amount of planning is going to result in a flawless scenario, and that's what we had to deal with here", Honea told the Action News Network.

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed".

Blome drove through the town with a man named Fred, crying, pointing out Sam's Liquor, Safeway, McDonald's, the church, the tire shop, the vehicle wash, apartments, her doctor's office, the bowling alley, a hotel, the veterinarian - all of which had gone up in flames.

The region has grappled with serious wildfires - including the worst in the state's history, the Mendocino and Thomas fires - on and off since 2017.