Malibu residents flee massive wildfire, 9 dead in Northern California

A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise Calif. on Thursday Nov. 8 2018

A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise Calif. on Thursday Nov. 8 2018

A raging wildfire on Saturday continued to sweep across Northern California - the most destructive in the state's modern history, which has claimed the lives of at least 11 people. Pieces of bodies were transported by bucket, while intact remains were carried in body bags.

By Saturday, fire officials said the Hill fire, which is just over 4,500 acres, was 25% contained but the larger Woolsey fire was still surging. "They are a terrifying and deadly force of nature". Firefighters hoped a narrow window of calm on Saturday would help give them a chance to fight the wildfires before Sunday, when the wind was predicted to build again to 35 miles per hour with even higher gusts.

Woolsey Fire was threatening 75,000 homes and more than 200,000 people were under mandatory evacuation early on Saturday.

Draper Fire Chief Clint Smith said he's not entirely sure what the four firefighters and one engine will be doing in California, but he said they wouldn't let the summer's tragedy interfere with their task, even if it is weighing on them.

Hundreds of homes were believed destroyed in Paradise, California, some 145 km north of Sacramento, and officials feared the death toll could rise once crews put out the flames and inspect destroyed properties.

Further north, another huge wildfire destroyed the town of Paradise, leaving nine people dead and 35 missing.

"It's survival mode", Watkins said Saturday after making it home the day before.

It has also destroyed an estimated 6,700 structures, an incident report by Cal Fire said.

Representatives for Acting California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who was elected on Tuesday to replace Jerry Brown, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Evacuations were ordered for all communities south of US 101, including the entire city of Malibu, where the population of about 13,000 includes many celebrities.

President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration providing federal funding to help firefighters battling the wildfires across California.

"We heard this was coming so we set up the sprinklers and we hosed the whole house down", said Malibu resident Patrick Henry.

One fire that broke out near the northeast corner of Los Angeles has roared westward, jumped US 101 in the Calabasas area and is surging up the Santa Monica Mountains. "We pretty much had enough time to get the dogs in the trunk".

Lady Gaga, Alyssa Milano and Kim Kardashian West were among the California residents who had to flee their homes. "It'll be similar wind conditions to when the fire first started, and with a significant wind event like that, our crews are anxious about (the fire's) potential to spread". One of them, the Western Town at Paramount Ranch where Westworld is filmed, was burned.

Intense winds and low humidity are feeding the flames.

Director Guillermo del Toro tweeted that Bleak House, his museum of horror movie memorabilia, was also in the path of the flames.

But officials know the gusts will be back Sunday and most evacuation orders remain in place. "My home is in jeopardy but... everything with a heartbeat is safe", she said.