Hollywood stars, musicians and famous faces have been forced to flee their homes as wildfires leave a trail of destruction through California.
Everyone from Bette Midler and Cher, to Barbra Streisand and Rod Stewart have shared their horror at the disaster online, with US reports claiming former Kardashian star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner’s home only very narrowly escaped the flames.
The raging blazes have so far left at least 11 people dead and thousands of homes destroyed, as brave firefighters battle to contain the flames and stop any more loss of life.
Around 250,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes in the state capital Sacramento and southern California – as well as Hollywood hotspot Malibu.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reports nine people lost their lives around the town of Paradise – which has been almost completely destroyed – while two more people were killed around 500 miles to the north.
While firefighters have so far been unable to contain the fires, they are hopeful that a drop of wind will mean it’s now possible for them to work quickly.
“We had a tough night in relation to this firefight,” Los Angeles county fire chief Daryl Osby told reporters in Thousand Oaks, the news outlet reports.
“From our perspective… although we did lose a lot of homes, we saved thousands.”
Calling it the most extreme wildfire he’d seen in his career, Osby added that 900 firefighters had been battling the blaze through the night.
US President Donald Trump sparked fury from many stars when he took to Twitter to slam the state, writing: “There was no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.” Threatening to withhold funds, he added that it was due to “gross mismanagement of the forests”.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
His tweet was met with fury from any celebrities who have either directly been affected, or know people who have. Streisand wrote: “In a terrible urban fire in Los Angeles, Trump shows his ignorance and lack of empathy by blaming forest management. Fire officials immediately have to correct him.”
While Rod Stewart backed her up, writing: “Mr. President, while people’s homes are burning, while lives are being lost & while firefighters are risking their lives, California needs words of support & encouragement, not threats or finger pointing & accusations. Where is Winston Churchill when you need him?”
In a terrible urban fire in Los Angeles, Trump shows his ignorance and lack of empathy by blaming forest management. Fire officials immediately have to correct him.
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) November 10, 2018
Mr. President, while people’s homes are burning, while lives are being lost & while firefighters are risking their lives, California needs words of support & encouragement, not threats or finger pointing & accusations. Where is Winston Churchill when you need him?
— Sir Rod Stewart (@rodstewart) November 10, 2018
Meanwhile, Bette Midler added: “I hear @CaitlinJenner has lost her home. To her and to everyone else in California battling the raging wildfires, the fear and terror must be horrific, and I am so sorry you have to endure this…I can only send love and sympathy to all.”
TMZ has since confirmed Jenner’s home escaped the fires.
Actor Charlie Sheen briefly reported his father Martin missing when he was unable to get hold of him, but Martin has since confirmed he is okay.
Cher also added her voice to the concerned tweets, writing: “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.”
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????
— Cher (@cher) November 9, 2018
Trump has since added further statements, urging families to evacuate immediately if they’re in an affected area. He wrote: “More than 4,000 are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California that have burned over 170,000 acres. Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all.”
He added: “These California fires are expanding very, very quickly (in some cases 80-100 acres a minute). If people don’t evacuate quickly, they risk being overtaken by the fire. Please listen to evacuation orders from State and local officials!”
The fires first broke out on Thursday and, fanned by strong winds, have burnt 40,500 hectares, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Saturday.