Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

California wildfire roars to life, forces thousands to flee

Hospital workers and first responders evacuate patients from the Feather River Hospital as the Camp Fire moves through the area on Nov. 8 2018 in Paradise California Tens of thousands flee fast-moving Northern California fire
Ellis Copeland | 10 November, 2018, 11:01

Almost 800km to the south, a second blaze forced the evacuation of the upscale oceanside city of Malibu and threatened the beleaguered town of Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people this week in a rampage in a bar and dance hall. Evacuation zones were posted on Cal Fire's website.

"This fire moved so fast and grew so fast a lot of people got caught by it".

"There was really no firefight involved", said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people get out alive. Paradise is 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Firefighter Adrien Mahnke pauses while battling the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on November 8, 2018.

Yesterday, the Northern California city of Paradise, a retirement community of 27,000 located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and home to two Assemblies of God churches, was evacuated due to the approaching Camp Fire.

Reporter Laura Anthony, of the local ABC station KGO, shot video of a "firenado" in Paradise Thursday.

There has been much damage from the fire, especially in Paradise, but the blaze is so severe firefighters aren't even able to gauge just how bad the destruction is.

Butte County Sheriff officials in Northern California claim that five people were found dead in their vehicles in the town of Paradise.

"It's a very risky and very serious situation", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told the paper. "It's all hands on deck to rescue people and get people out of harm's way". If you or anyone you know happens to be anywhere near the Camp Fire, please evacuate to safety.

There is now a large animal evacuation center set up at the Zuma Beach parking lot in Malibu and another at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, according to the alert.

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

"Things started exploding", said resident Gina Oviedo. "People started getting out of their vehicles and running".

Some motorists abandoned their cars and ran for their lives with children and pets in their arms. "We were driving through fire on each side of the road", police officer Mark Bass said. Visibility is nearly zero at times due to the smoke an ash.

"Not one home will be left standing", he said.

The Thousand Oaks-area Conejo Valley Unified School District also has closed all its schools. The size of the fire is about 110 square miles, he said Friday.

Some of the patients were initially turned around during their evacuation because of gridlocked traffic and later airlifted to other hospitals, along with some staff, Kinney said. En route to her sister's house in Chico, she told CNN she didn't have high hopes that her home survived.

By Friday morning, a day after the fire broke out along Pulga Road at Camp Creek Road in Butte County, firefighters said about 80 percent of the town, population 26,000, was lost.

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out".

"We never heard from them again", Lee said. I've linked to both of them and provided descriptions below.

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