Irish 'Fair City' actor fled Malibu, lost his house in fire

Dublin-born actor Victor Burke was one of the lucky people to escape the fatal wildfires ravaging California in the US.

Speaking with RTÉ, Burke said he initially thought people were “exaggerating” their accounts of the wildfire.

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Fair City actor Victor Burke was among the thousands forced to flee their homes in Malibu due to large wildfires in California | Read more:

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) November 10, 2018

“I thought they were all exaggerating till I saw the flames coming over the mountain – and then we ran. It was pretty extreme."

"The flames were huge, the mountains are pretty high and the flames were way above the mountain so we ran and we got onto the PCH, the road that runs along the coast,” he said.

"Everyone was heading south to the Santa Monica area but there was a traffic jam so we headed north.”

“We were lucky to get out, to be honest,” Burke said. “We just ran. We just grabbed the kids and the dog and whatever we could grab.”

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Since the escape, Burke “heard that our house is gone,” but said that he and his family are in a hotel and safe.

The California wildfires are now both the largest and deadliest in the state’s history. 42 people have died so far with another 200 still missing; officials expect those numbers to rise.

“There’s 250,000 displaced, everybody in our area is out,” said Burke. “People are gone now and they won’t be back. It’s going to be a very different place. People have lost everything.”