Friday, 16 November, 2018

Tens of thousands flee fast-moving Northern California fire

Massive wind-fueled fire threatens NorCal town of Paradise PARADISE EVACUATED: Fast-Growing Butte County Fire Has Already Burned 5000 Acres
Jeannette Daniel | 09 November, 2018, 17:00

This second fire has scored some 10,000 acres of land, the state agency said.

Smoke from a wildfire in Butte County has moved over the Bay Area Thursday, prompting an alert by air quality authorities.

The fire has burned 20,000 acres and is not contained.

Strong blustery winds are combining with dry conditions, after weeks without rain and low humidity at the height of the wildfire season in north California.

Late Thursday morning, smoke was beginning to enter Contra Costa County which per fire officials is from Butte County.

"We're trying to get as many people out as quickly as possible and save as many lives as we can", he said.

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

Chuck Kambourian's wife was about to drive their children to school when they got caught by the fire.

He estimated that a couple of thousand structures, including offices, large stores and restaurants in the 27,000 population town were flattened by the fire, although exact numbers are not known.

The Camp Fire was the fiercest of several wind-driven blazes that erupted across the state on Thursday.

The fire was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area. By nightfall, it had consumed more than 28 square miles (73 square kilometers) and firefighters had no containment on the blaze, McLean said.

More news: Kevin Harvick fails inspection, loses guaranteed spot in NASCAR Championship 4

Pacific Gas and Electric Company said about 14,000 residents of Butte and Plumas counties were without power due to fire activity and requests from firefighters to cut electricity in certain areas for safety, Sacramento Bee reported.

"It's a very risky and very serious situation", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told The Associated Press. We're working very hard to get people out. "That's when I made a decision to get out". "The town center is completely on the ground".

As she fled, Gina Oviedo described a devastating scene in which flames engulfed homes, sparked explosions and toppled utility poles.

Kambourian said he started getting text messages from his church group on Thursday morning saying a fire had broken out in his hometown of Paradise.

"We grabbed our animals and some food and some clothes and we're getting the heck out of here", one man said.

Her front lawn was on fire in about 30 minutes and she could not make it to her auto. "They were abandoned because traffic was so bad, backed up for hours".

Thick grey smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away.

The Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

A burning sign is seen outside Paradise Skilled Nursing home during the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 8, 2018.

Medical personnel evacuate patients from the the Feather River Hospital.

Four hospital employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said.

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