Smoking rubble, cars reduced to carcasses: the Californian firefighters were still fighting against the devastating fires that killed at least nine people and destroyed thousands of homes on Saturday, with little hope of controlling the various disasters in the coming days.
More than 250,000 people have received orders to evacuate their homes in a large area near the capital of this western state of the United States, in Sacramento, and in the popular tourist resort of Malibu, in southern California.
So far, the bodies of nine people have been found in Paradise alone, in Butte County, north of Sacramento.
Since Thursday morning, more than 6,700 buildings, for most of the houses, have been devoured by the "Camp Fire" fire, now the most destructive ever recorded in California.
About ten kilometers around Paradiso, the sky was obscured by an acrid smoke and the sun was barely visible.
The inhabitants have escaped from the danger, while on the road that leads to the center of the city lie destroyed cars. The electric poles were gnawed by the fire.
"Only a few farmers are back to see what their livestock are like," a policewoman told AFP.
The fire has so far consumed more than 40,000 hectares and is controlled only by 20%, according to CalFire, the California Fire Department. Three of the over 3,200 deployed firemen were injured.
– "Incredible" destruction –
"The entire lower part of Paradise is in flames right now, not a single house will be left standing, I collapsed," Kevin Winstead, a resident of a nearby town, Winstead testified on KIEM TV.
Authorities estimate that it will take three weeks to control the flames in this area at the foot of the Sierra Nevada.
"The extent of the destruction we've seen is truly incredible and shocking," said Mark Ghilarducci of the California Governor's emergency services office on Friday.
President Donald Trump, traveling to France for the centennial armistice ceremonies of the First World War, was tough in California, which has just elected a Democratic governor.
"There's no reason for these huge California fires, deadly and expensive, except for the fact that forest management is so bad," the US president tweeted Saturday.
"Billions of dollars are donated each year, so many lives are lost, all because of poor forest management, remedy now, otherwise there will be no more federal payments!" He added.
In Southern California, where more fires rage, 200,000 people, including Malibu, near Los Angeles, home to many celebrities, have received orders to evacuate due to the Woolsey fire. which has devoured almost 28,000 hectares and destroyed at least 150 houses since Thursday afternoon.
– Destroyed movie locations –
"I have lived in Malibu for 23 years, since I was born, and I have seen flames coming from the mountains above the house," said AFP Heili Hoffmann at the AFP. "I heard the trees burn, and I knew I had to go."
Several characters like Kim Kardashian or Alyssa Milano have had to leave their homes.
"I heard that the flames had reached our property but the fire was now contained, and I pray that the winds are in our favor," wrote Kim Kardashian.
The actor Martin Sheen, who briefly missed his son Charlie, was evacuating.
"We're fine, we're in Zuma Beach, we're probably going to sleep in the car tonight," Martin Sheen told Fox News 11.
The fire also destroyed the locations of the films used for hundreds of productions, including the HBO series "Westworld".
Another home rages in Ventura County, near Thousand Oaks, where a former soldier fired Wednesday night at a city bar, killing twelve people before committing suicide.
California has been hit by the end of 2017 by many deadly fires, made particularly violent by drought and winds.
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