Southern California fires force evacuation of Malibu

The Los Angeles and Ventura County fire departments say multiple buildings have been destroyed or damage, but exact numbers are not available early Friday.

Winds calmed in some areas and intensified in others Friday morning, National Weather Service forecasts show.

The fire began about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Woolsey Canyon, east of Simi Valley.

"Cal-Fire is working very hard to protect structures, my deputies and law enforcement officers have come in with to assist us with mutual aid the California Highway Patrol, law enforcement from all over NorCal are working to not only make sure the areas that are evacuated that we're getting people out, we've got around 400 requests to go out and check on people or attempt to contact people who haven't been able to check-in with their loved ones, so we're in the process of doing that", explained the sheriff.

The fire broke out Thursday northwest of Los Angeles and roared southward, jumping the USA 101 freeway early Friday and sweeping into the Santa Monica Mountains.

A fast-spreading wildfire in Ventura County jumped Highway 101 and presented "imminent threat" to the beachfront city of Malibu, Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted 7 a.m. Friday.

The blaze has forced the closure of Pepperdine University, CSU Channel Islands, Cal Lutheran University, Moorpark Community College and many Ventura County K-12 schools, according to the emergency incident webpage.

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And a blaze in Northern California sent terrified residents running for their lives as it closed in and destroyed parts of the town of Paradise, near Chico. Winds were blowing between 25-30 miles per hour and pushed the fire across the freeway onto Conejo Mountain toward the Pacific Coast Highway.

Around 10,000 acres of land was torched in the blaze by Thursday night, fire officials said.

Fanned by high winds and fueled by low humidity and dry vegetation, the fires spread rapidly Thursday and overnight into Friday.

The fire department said 30,000 homes were threatened in a tweet Friday morning.

About 1:30 a.m., all residents south of the Ventura Freeway between Westlake Boulevard on the west, Mulholland Highway to the south and Las Virgenes Road to the east were told to leave the area immediately, according to Malibu Search and Rescue.

No injuries had been reported. No roadways were closed as of Friday.

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