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He evacuated his family and then returned to the fire to help rescue several disabled residents, including a man trying to carry his bedridden wife to safety.

The blaze has spread rapidly overnight, fanned by strong winds, and has jumped Highway 101, a major route west of Los Angeles.

As the Woolsey Fire made its way across Ventura County, it burned around the Santa Susana Field Lab, a site that has been considered "significantly contaminated" by decades of rocket and nuclear reactor testing and a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959. That county is also facing danger from a second fire, the Hill Fire, which sparked Thursday very near the location of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks where 12 were killed.

"All residents must evacuate immediately".

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.

"I was frantic", she said. "Just landed back home and had one hour to pack up and evacuate our home".

"I feel very vulnerable posting this, but I feel I should", she wrote in the post. "My home is in jeopardy but. everything with a heartbeat is safe", she said.

The singer Cher, who is performing in Las Vegas, tweeted that she was anxious about her Malibu home.

Director Guillermo del Toro tweeted that Bleak House, his museum of horror movie memorabilia, was also in the path of the flames. The smoke reported by residents in Berkeley, however, comes from a fire about 150 miles north in Butte County.

Where is the Camp Fire?

More than 6,700 homes and businesses were destroyed and residents fled for their lives.

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"There are many hazards in areas where fatalities have been reported", the Butte County Sheriff's Department said in a statement, warning that they expect to find additional victims.

Actor James Woods started the hashtag #CampFireJamesWoods, retweeting missing-person reports to his more than 1.8 million followers.

A meteorologist speaking at the news conference said that dry conditions are expected to continue and that the lack of rain was only making things worse. "It was the event we have feared for a long time".

Flames from the unchecked, 20,000-acre (8,100-hectare) Camp Fire were being driven westward by 35-mile-per hour (56 km-per-hour) winds, fire officials said.

Cars and trucks, some with trailers attached, were left on the roadside as evacuees ran for their lives, said Bass, the police officer. "This is a very risky wind-driven fire".

The town sits on a ridge and the few roads out quickly became clogged with traffic as 27,000 people tried to flee, many driving through walls of flame.

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", Cal Fire spokesman Bryce Bennett told The Sacramento Bee. The couple moved from Texas to the California foothill town about a year ago and was probably not prepared for wildfires.

In the San Francisco Bay area, some 180 miles away from Paradise, locals have been encouraged to stay indoors due to worsening air quality caused by smoke from the fire.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 621,743 acres (251,610 hectares) burned through Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, almost twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and almost triple the five-year average. The Butte County Sheriff's Department is maintaining updated information on evacuation areas and shelters on its Twitter feed.


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