Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

At least 1,000 structures destroyed by fast-moving fire in Northern California

At least 1,000 structures destroyed by fast-moving fire in Northern California

The Camp Fire, in Butte County, north of the state's capital, Sacramento, had burned through some 18,000 acres as of Thursday evening and was zero percent contained as officials scrambled to evacuate area residents.

California Highway Patrol announced Thursday afternoon it had closed several roads in the area, including Skyway Road, which is the northerly passage out of town, and Highway 70 to the south of the fire.

The full extent of the destruction is still unknown but authorities believe up to 1,000 structures have been destroyed and most of those were in Paradise, a Cal Fire spokesman said. Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Butte County.

While no homes or businesses have been lost due to the fast-moving fire, a number of RVs and outbuildings have been burned and a firefighter suffered a minor injury, authorities said.

The Butte County Sheriff's office said an evacuation order was issued for areas of Paradise, a town of about 27 000 people. He evacuated his family and then returned to the fire to help rescue several disabled residents, including a man trying to carry his bedridden wife to safety.

Actor Rainn Wilson said that resident of Thousand Oaks, still reeling from a Wednesday night shooting in which a gunman killed 12 people at a bar before killing himself, were now having to flee their homes.

Cal Fire said strong winds were moving the fire quickly.

As winds approached 50 mph (80 km/h), causing the fire to grow rapidly in just a few hours, some residents were forced to abandon vehicles and escape on foot, local media reported.

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

'We're getting them on other vehicles with room.

An elementary school in the region was also forced to evacuate students after the fire came within half a mile of the campus, according to CNN. It's very surreal. Things always work out, but the unknown is a little scary.

A wind-whipped fire north of Los Angeles in Ventura County burned about 15,000 acres (23 square miles) and at least one home in a matter of hours. Cars and trucks, some with trailers attached, were left on the roadside as evacuees ran for their lives, said Bass, the police officer.

Sanchez said he was in Sacramento Thursday seeing a cancer doctor when he got a call from his mother and his friends that his children had to evacuate. Yellow areas represent the fire perimeter.

Thick grey smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away.

Paradise: Cassie Lerossignol hugs as coworker as the Feather River Hospital burns while the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

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.

By 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Paradise resident Tanah Clunies-Ross said she could not see her vehicle from her front door through the cloud of smoke.

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