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A destructive and fast-moving wildfire erupted in northern California on Thursday morning, spreading rapidly due to a mix of howling winds and extremely dry conditions.

Three fast-moving wildfires burned in California on Friday morning, including one that spurred the evacuation of 75,000 homes near a city that was still reeling from a mass shooting. Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency. Others took to Twitter to post messages about missing family members.

A fire official says the town of Paradise has been "pretty much" destroyed.

Fires are burning in Northern and Southern California.

BFD spokesperson Keith May said BFD is sending one engine to assist the City of Oakland as its fire department responds to a fire on Highway 13, just south of Joaquin Miller Road. At one point, a tree branch fell on his vehicle, smashing his windshield and denting his hood. "God help us!" she said before breaking down crying.

The fire in Paradise was reported shortly after daybreak Thursday. All of the people were found dead in their cars, that were "overcome by the Camp Fire", the sheriff said.

The fire destroyed about 1,000 structures in Paradise, including a church and some buildings at a local hospital, according to Cal Fire and interviews with residents.

The hospital's parent company could not be reached for comment.

Paradise is located on a ridge and had limited escape routes.

Numerous people reported missing on social media are elderly.

More than 20,000 people had been evacuated the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The page goes on to state, "During heightened fire danger, CAL FIRE will place additional firefighters on duty, staff more fire engines and keep more equipment on 24 hours a day to be able to respond to any new fires".

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", Bennett said.

"This fire is very risky, please evacuate if asked to do so!"

Large swaths of the state are under a "red flag" fire hazard warning, and the National Weather Service Sacramento office forecasts the blaze will continue through Friday night.

NWS said wind guests of 50 to 70mph were expected to lash the mountains in Ventura County.

Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California and requested a presidential disaster declaration, saying that risky weather conditions were expected to last several days.

In Southern California, strong Santa Ana winds were fanning two fires, including the Woolsey Fire, which by Friday morning had burned across USA 101 and was heading in the direction of Malibu.

California has experienced debilitating fires of unprecedented regularity in the past few years. That helped double the size of the Woolsey Fire to 8,000 acres (3238 hectares), fire officials said.

LA County Fire tweeted: "Fire has jumped the 101 fwy near Chesebro and is headed to Ocean Mandatory Evacuations, 101 Fwy to the coast between Las Virgenes Cyn /Malibu Cyn Rd.to the LA County line".

In just 24 hours, the disastrous Camp Fire in Northern California has burned at the rate of nearly an acre per second and scorched an area more than twice the size of San Francisco.