Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Wildfire destroys most of California town of Paradise; thousands of structures burned

Camp Fire Smoke Smoke from the Camp Fire Camp Fire Smoke Smoke from the Camp Fire
Ellis Copeland | 09 November, 2018, 08:57

He said sheriff's deputies helped patients evacuate.

BFD spokesperson Keith May said BFD is sending one engine to assist the City of Oakland as its fire department responds to a fire on Highway 13, just south of Joaquin Miller Road.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 621,743 acres (251,610 hectares) burned through Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, almost twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and almost triple the five-year average.

The Camp Fire began early Thursday in Paradise, about 90 miles north of Sacramento, burning 20,000 acres and threatening 15,000 structures as it moved west toward Chico Thursday night, according to Cal Fire officials. "Those reports have not yet been verified", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference.

"This fire is very risky, please evacuate if asked to do so!" the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) tweeted. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state". He said rescuers were trying to put them in other vehicles.

Cal Fire tweeted that the fire was "very dangerous" and urged people to follow evacuation orders.

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The wildfire was reported around daybreak. Within six hours, it had grown to more than 69 square kilometres, Gaddie said. "It's really dry and we have low humidity - and unfortunately those are great conditions for a fire to spread".

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

Weather forecasts showed numerous red flag warnings and wind alerts in the area Thursday into Friday.

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, said Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman.

The Camp Fire has burned more than 5,000 acres and is still very active as it is wind driven.

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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