Wind-Driven Camp Fire Barrels Through Northern California's Butte County

Evarado Alatorre
Noviembre 9, 2018

Residents of Butte County ― and particularly Paradise, California, and its surrounding towns ― have been ordered to evacuate and take shelter in local churches in the neighboring town of Chico.

Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate a fast-moving wildfire that exploded in size Thursday, threatening several Northern California communities and forcing panicked residents to race to help neighbors who had to drive through walls of flames to escape. He said he did not know the number of injuries or how many structures were destroyed.

Oviedo described a devastating scene, saying homes were engulfed in flames and utility poles were crashing down.

Fire officials characterized the inferno as explosive.

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out". She said people left their vehicles and ran when they started hearing explosions. "God help us!" she said before breaking down crying. She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through flames before getting to safety, she said.

Bernacett said she and her husband "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as numerous residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible to leave the area Thursday morning as authorities ordered the area evacuated. "Once it got going it picked up very rapidly". "The message I want to get out is if you can evacuate, you need to evacuate", Honea said. Within six hours, it had grown to more than 26 square miles (69 square kilometers), Gaddie said. Gusty winds and low humidity were among the factors that led to the warning.

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"The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds", Carhart said.

The Camp Fire began early Thursday morning near Camp Creek Road and Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon.

At the hospital with the stranded patients, some buildings caught fire and were damaged, but the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

The California Highway Patrol closed a nearby highway and urged motorists to avoid the area.

More than 40 patients were evacuated to other facilities.

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.

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