Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Wildfires Rage Across Northern California And Thousand Oaks

Evacuations Ordered in Butte County California as the Camp Fire Expands Massive wind-fueled fire threatens NorCal town of Paradise
Ellis Copeland | 09 November, 2018, 17:54

Plumes of smoke loom in the sky several miles away, seen behind a home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., as a wind-driven wildfire known as the Hill fire threatens the area late Thursday afternoon, November 4, 2018.

"Things started exploding", Oviedo said. She said a group of 20 other patients were initially evacuated but then returned to the facility because of gridlocked traffic.

Colton Percifield, 20, said in an interview that he awoke at friend's house in Concow to find smoke outside around 7 a.m. Spot fires soon encroached on the house. A fire official said the plan was to create a fire break along a road to prevent the flames from overpowering the neighborhood.

According to Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Lillis, some 60 to 70 people were awaiting an emergency evacuation at a Walgreen's in Paradise. "I don't know. When I left it was all on fire". The message I want to get out is: "If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate", he said.

A red flag warning is in effect through Friday morning, meaning that firefighters face high winds and low humidity that help spread the wildfire. "We had to ride through flames to get here", he said from the side of a road west of Paradise.

"There was significant structure loss in multiple communities.as well as multiple civilian and firefighter injuries", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) Chief Darren Read.

Firefighters battle the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday.

"By the time we got out, the flames were a half mile away from the school".

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The scenes of devastation in Paradise, widely circulating on social media Friday morning, come as more than 75,000 homes have been ordered evacuated farther south in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, where two other blazes rage.

The fire was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area.

Resident Shari Bernacett told the Associated Press she "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to get mobile home residents in her area to leave as fire consumed the hillside. Within roughly six hours, the fire had grown to more than 26 square miles (69 square kilometers), said Gaddie.

By Thursday afternoon, the fire was growing at the rate of about one football field every three seconds, assisted by dry conditions and wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour. She captured photos of low-hanging black smoke stretching for miles as she and her boyfriend evacuated Paradise.

"We hope the winds will die down around midnight", he said. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state".

Butte County supervisor Doug Teeter said authorities used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out the way to reach Feather River Hospital and evacuate patients as flames engulfed its old wing and the roof of the emergency department.

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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