More than 200 missing in California blaze


Nov. 12, 2018; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Residents evacuate with their pets as the Hill Fire burned in a canyon on Monday, Nov. 12, 2108, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Ventura County firefighters saved all the homes in the area. Credit: Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA.

More than 200 people are missing as wildfires rampage through parts of California, with gusty, dry winds stirring up the flames.

The so-called Camp Fire, California's most destructive on record, has left at least 228 people missing as of early Monday, according to California's Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.

That fire in northern California and one in the south have killed at least 31 people in total.

Both fires have been whipped up by hot dry winds expected to continue through Tuesday evening, according to officials.

The winds were expected to heighten the risk of fresh blazes ignited by scattered embers.

More than 224,000 people have been displaced by the fires.

The Camp Fire, 60 km north of Sacramento, burned down more than 6700 homes and businesses in the town of Paradise, more structures than any other wildfire recorded in California.

The blazes left behind scenes of utter ruin, with homes and businesses reduced to charred wreckage.

In southern California, the Woolsey Fire had burned more than 3600 hectares and was 20 per cent contained, officials said.

The fire had forced authorities to issue evacuation orders for a quarter of a million people in Ventura and Los Angeles counties and beachside communities including the Malibu beach colony.

Hollywood celebrities and music stars were among those to see their homes go up in flames, including pop singer Miley Cyrus and Neil Young.

Cyrus, who is engaged to the Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, tweeted: "Completely devestated (sic) by the fires affecting my community. I am one of the lucky ones. My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely & that's all that matters right now."

Young wrote on his website that he had "lost my home before to a California fire, now another".

At least two people have died in the Woolsey Fire, according to officials from the statewide agency Cal Fire.

The number of people missing in the Woolsey Fire was not immediately available.

Wind gusts of up to 100 km/h were expected in the mountains, valleys and canyons of southern California, raising the possibility of downed power lines and trees.

This, in combination with low humidity, was expected to create the perfect conditions for fires to spread.

© RAW 2018