Tens of thousands of people flee fast-moving wildfire in California

Frederick Owens
November 9, 2018

Sky-darkening smoke from the Camp Fire in the Feather River Canyon near Paradise, Calif. on Thursday.

"Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming", he said.

California wildfires are burning again, with the Camp Fire near Chico the latest large fire to erupt in Northern California.

The Butte County Camp Fire has burned over 8,000 acres of land and is zero percent contained as of press time, according to information released by the CAL FIRE Butte Unit and the Butte County Fire Department on their shared twitter account.

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.

Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California. 'There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state'.

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He confirmed reports that evacuees had to abandon their vehicles as they fled the scene. It's very surreal. Things always work out, but the unknown is a little scary. Within six hours, it had grown to more than 69 square kilometres, Gaddie said.

The dry heat and limited rainfall - in some places, no rainfall at all - contributed to the fire's spread.


Smoke from the wind-driven fire, which started Thursday morning, can be seen from as far away as 150 miles.

The Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise evacuated all its patients and staff, given its close proximity to the fire, and transported them safely to hospitals in neighboring towns, Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman told the Associated Press.

The blaze dubbed the Camp Fire, swept through the town of Paradise, driven by high winds and dry conditions, with social media reports that a hospital, high school and K-Mart store were on fire. She said a group of 20 other patients were initially evacuated but then returned to the facility because of gridlocked traffic.

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

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