As political disputes and rivalries have set metaphoric fires across the United States, California has been battling a literal fire—three of them—that have burned for months in the state; and they are getting worse.
BBC reports that nine people have died and more than 250,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes as similarly destructive fires are burning through north and south California.
More than 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes to avoid three major blazes in the state.
Firefighters were powerless in stopping a wildfire destroying the northern town of Paradise, where 35 people are missing.
A raging wildfire swept into the southern beach resort of Malibu – home to many Hollywood stars – on Friday.
The Washington Examiner reports Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Caitlyn Jenner, Scott Baio, Rainn Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, Lady Gaga, and Alyssa Milano are among several Hollywood stars who were forced to evacuate.
“Pray for Calabasas,” Kardashian West wrote on Instagram Thursday. “Just landed back home and had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home. I pray everyone is safe.”
The fire reached the Hidden Hills home she shares with her husband and children Friday afternoon. Jenner’s home was destroyed Friday, according to TMZ. Milano rushed to evacuate her five horses, ultimately getting them to safety, the Associated Press reported.
Thousands of homes were evacuated Thursday and Friday as two fires burned across Southern California.
Singer Cher also took to social media to express her grief: “I’m worried about my house, but there is nothing I can do. Friends houses have burned. I can’t bear the thought of there being no Malibu I’ve had a house in Malibu since 1972.”
These fires and others have burned for months throughout California and have caused complete destruction to thousands of homes.
The Camp Fire in northern California and the Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire in the south have worsened as they are being fanned by strong winds and are meeting dry forests.
Here’s more on the fires, via CBS News:
3 major fires by the numbers
Firefighters are battling three major wildfires in California. Here’s a breakdown by the numbers as of Friday evening, according to Cal Fire and local officials.
The Camp Fire
- Location: Butte County
- 90,000 acres burned
- 5 percent contained
- 35 people reported missing
- 9 fatalities confirmed
- 1,385 people in shelters
- 52,000 have been evacuated
- Location: Ventura County
- 200,000 residents under mandatory evacuation
- 35,000 acres burned
- Zero percent contained
- Location: Ventura County
- About 4,500 acres burned
- 15 percent contained
- Firefighters are making good progress, fire chief remains optimistic
President Trump blamed the continued destruction on “mismanagement” and threatened to pull federal funding if leadership did not do a better job at allocating the funds they are currently spending.
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” he tweeted.
And, from Politico:
Trump earlier issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds to help firefighters.
Trump has previously criticized management of California’s forests, blaming the spread of wildfires and widespread drought on the state’s water policy. Trump in August said California’s “bad environmental laws” are a cause of wildfires.