Nine people were declared dead and tens of thousands evacuated Friday as fierce wildfires raged across the western U.S. state of California, with one rapidly spreading blaze threatening the famed resort of Malibu.
A fast-moving wildfire advanced to the outskirts of the Northern California city of Chico early on Friday, forcing thousands to flee after it left the nearby town of Paradise in ruins.
"It was the event we have feared for a long time", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a Friday evening press conference.
Last June, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection report determined that PG&E power lines and equipment failures were to blame for 12 of the catastrophic wildfires.
At least nine people have been killed and more than 150,000 evacuated as two big wildfires rage in California, officials say.
After flames ripped through the town Thursday, Paradise (population 27,000) has been declared nearly a complete loss.
"It's a very unsafe and very serious situation", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told the paper.
Meanwhile, PG&E's shares plunged more than 16 percent Friday - the biggest one-day drop for the utility's stock price since August 2002, CNBC reported.
The Camp Fire ignited Thursday and evolved into the most fierce of the wind-driven fires in what has been one of the worst years for wildfires in California.
Officials had also ordered an evacuation of Topanga Canyon as the fire spread to 14,000 acres with no containment.
Cathy Fallon reacts as she stands near the charred remains of her home, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. A state fire official said the Camp Fire had almost quadrupled overnight to 285 square kilometers.
A spokesman for the city confirmed families already traumatised by the shootings in Thousand Oaks are among those who have been affected by mandatory evacuation orders put in place as the fires worsen.
"The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds", Carhart said. Malibu has about 13,000 residents and lies along 21 miles (34 kilometres) of coast at the southern foot of the mountain range.
The Woolsey Fire, which started about 2:30 p.m. Thursday near the former Rocketdyne Complex in the Simi Hills area, had spread to 35,000 acres by sunset Friday. "Just landed back home and had one hour to pack up and evacuate our home".
On Instagram, reality TV star Kim Kardashian urged people to "pray for Calabasas". Then she reconsidered, thinking: "I'm really scared".
More than 157,000 people across the state have been forced to flee their homes as the fires close in on residential areas, putting more lives in danger.
Conditions in Oak Park, just north of Malibu, have been described as "surreal" and "horrific".