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California fires rage on, threatening Malibu

California fires rage on, threatening Malibu
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By Robert Hackwill
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With high winds forecast for the next 48 hours there appears no end in sight to California's latest ordeal by fire.

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Both northern and southern California are suffering from two huge wildfires that show no signs of dying down.

With hot dry winds expected last until at least Tuesday, in the south there are fears for the wealthy beach town of Malibu, where a mandatory evacuation order has been issued for a quarter of a million people.

In the meantime the huge Camp Fire in the north has already destroyed towns like Paradise and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. Firefighters say it is only 10% contained.

At least 25 people have died, and more than 100 are missing. Looting has been reported in the south, where the Woolsey fire has doubled in size in the last 24 hours.

Fire officials are noting that the fires are spreading more quickly than in the past. Only two past fires, in the 1930s and 90s, have taken more lives.

Nearly 7000 homes and businesses have also been destroyed. Experts say California has to adjust to a "new normal"; less rainfall, more frequent and more severe fires, and stronger storms to whip them out of control.

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