Evacuation ordered for Malibu as raging fire jumps US 101, closes freeway

Evacuation ordered for Malibu as raging fire jumps US 101, closes freeway
Paradise, California destroyed by out-of-control Camp Fire
It went from a spark to a wildfire covering more than 70 square kilometres in about six hours, and officials say the out-of-control blaze in Northern California is still growing.

Tens of thousands of people were ordered to flee the fast-moving flames — dubbed the Camp Fire by officials — that exploded in size Thursday morning, threatening several communities and forcing panicked residents to race to help neighbours who had to drive through walls of flames to escape.

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 6:10 PM – Thousands of people in California have had to flee ahead of a wildfire that has consumed thousands of hectares of land and continues to grow, courtesy of strong winds. Known as the Camp Fire, the blaze is burning in Butte County, in central California north of the state capital Sacramento. It began early Thursday morning, and and grew so rapidly that it reached some 18,000 acres (7,200 hectares) as of Thursday afternoon. As of Thursday evening, it remained zero per cent contained.

Video: Wildfire evacuee: Our town is flattened

California wildfire roars to life, forces thousands to flee

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation," said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean late Thursday. "The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out."

So far, Calfire says “multiple” structures have burned, and several people have had to be treated for burns, though no fatalities have been reported as of yet. Around 30,000 customers are without power as a result of the fire.

Separate wildfires rip through California, thousands flee

McLean estimated that a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town of 27,000 residents about 300 kilometres northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to get out. By nightfall on Thursday, it had consumed more than 73 square kilometres and firefighters had no containment on the blaze, McLean said.

Aside from the winds, low relative humidity in the area was making firefighters jobs harder, and the area was under a red flag warning Thursday.

Paradise lost: California community destroyed by wildfire

"We have received reports of some fatalities. Those reports have not yet been verified," Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference.

Some 20,000 people have been ordered to evacuate, according to the Houston Chronicle, and multiple highways in the area have been closed.

Video: 27000 People Told To Evacuate California Town Of Paradise Due To Impending Wildfire | TIME

Butte County Fire Chief Darren Read says multiple civilians and two firefighters have been injured and a significant number of buildings — as many as several hundred — have been lost.

"We were surrounded by fire, we were driving through fire on each side of the road," said police officer Mark Bass, who lives in Paradise and works in Chico. 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. "It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us."

An Associated Press photographer found businesses and homes levelled or in flames, including a liquor store and gas station.

The two fires burning just northwest of Los Angeles were zero per cent contained, and mandatory evacuations were in place for L.A. County and Ventura County. As the fires advanced south toward L.A., officials also ordered the evacuation of the California beachside community of Malibu, a well-to-do community of about 13,000.

Impenetrable Smoke, Embers From Camp Fire Adding To Chaos As California Town Burns

"It's bad," Honea told the Enterprise-Record. "We're trying to get as many people out as quickly as possible and save as many lives as we can."     

Video: Residents describe evacuating from Paradise as Camp Fire rages

"The whole town is burning," Bob Van Camp, a resident who escaped on his motorbike, told local TV channel Action News Now. "We had to ride through flames to get here," he said from the side of a road west of Paradise.

Later in the morning officials warned the fire was moving northward and ordered people in two Sierra Nevada foothill communities to leave their homes. The Butte County Sheriff's Office said an evacuation order was issued Friday for the small communities of Stirling City and Inskip, north of Paradise.

Very dangerous Camp Fire prompts evacuations in Butte County, California

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tweeted that the fire broke out at about 6:30 a.m. local time in the Feather River Canyon, prompting an evacuation of the immediate area. Just hours later, as the fire spread, officials ordered the Paradise evacuation.

Many abandoned their cars on the side of the road, fleeing on foot. Cars and trucks, some with trailers attached, were left on the roadside as evacuees ran for their lives, said Bass, the police officer. "They were abandoned because traffic was so bad, backed up for hours."

One woman who got out said people abandoned their vehicles and held babies and pets as they escaped.

The Woolsey Fire, which began overnight, covered more than 3,000 hectares Friday morning and was threatening 75,000 homes, the Ventura County Fire Department said on Twitter, adding there had been no reports of fatalities or severe injuries as yet. 

Gina Oviedo said there was fire everywhere as she got out of Paradise, adding that homes were engulfed in flames and utility poles were crashing down. 

Tens of thousands flee fast-moving Northern California fire

Paradise resident Kevin Winstead said the whole lower side of the town was burning. "Not one home will be left standing," he said.

In the midst of the chaos, officials said they could not provide figures on the number of wounded, but County Cal Fire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that at least two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.

"It's really dry and we have low humidity and unfortunately those are great conditions for a fire to spread," said Cal Fire spokesman​ Rick Carhart. 

"Every engine that we could put on the fire, is on the fire right now and more are coming," he said. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state."

With Paradise located on a ridge and escape routes limited, traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock. Residents abandoned vehicles and ran from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said.

Northern California wildfire leaves town in ruins, thousands flee

Shary Bernacett said she and her husband tried to get people to leave the mobile home park they manage in Paradise, with just minutes to evacuate, as the wildfire approached the east side of town.

The National Weather Service issued red-flag warnings for fire dangers in many areas of the state, saying low humidity and strong winds were expected to continue through Friday evening.

California wildfire destroys homes, hospital; deaths reported

Bernacett said they "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as many of the residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible to leave the area Thursday morning.

McLean estimated that a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town of 27,000 residents located about 300 kilometres northeast of San Francisco.

She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through three-metre-high flames before getting to safety. She said the air is black with smoke and ash.

Bernacett said the fire also overtook the hospital three kilometres east of the mobile home park. Adventist Health Feather River tweeted that it has managed to move all of its patients to other hospitals in the surrounding area.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

She says she heard from a friend that people, horses and dogs had congregated in a parking lot of a Kmart in Paradise.

The blaze erupted as windy weather swept the state, creating extreme fire danger. 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. It prompted evacuations of a mobile home park, a state university campus and a small community. A nearby blaze was smaller at less than 1,000 acres (1.5 square miles) but moving quickly.

California: tens of thousands evacuated as wildfire explodes in size

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 251,610 hectares burned as of last Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, nearly twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and nearly triple the five-year average.

McLean estimated that a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town of 27,000 residents about 180 miles (290 kilometres) northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to get out. The extent of the injuries and specific damage count was not immediately known as officials could not access the dangerous area.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

PARADISE, Calif. — Tens of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire Thursday in Northern California, some clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the flames that forced the evacuation of an entire town and destroyed hundreds of structures.

Hundreds of homes destroyed by California wildfire, deaths reported

Tens of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire Thursday in Northern California, some clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the flames that forced the evacuation of an entire town and destroyed hundreds of structures.

Among them was Kim Curtis, who was searching for her grandmother, who told family at 8 a.m. Thursday that she would flee her Paradise home in her Buick with her cat. Her grandmother, who is in her 70s and lives alone, never showed up up at a meeting spot in Chico, though.

Video Shows the Terrifying Drive to Escape Massive Fire in Paradise, California

Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, its that kind of devastation, said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean late Thursday.

My husband tried his best to get everybody out. The whole hills on fire. God help us! she said before breaking down crying. She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through flames before getting to safety, she said.

McLean estimated that a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town of 27,000 residents about 290 kilometres northeast of San Francisco, where residents scrambled to flee. The extent of the injuries and specific damage count was not immediately known as officials could not access the dangerous area.

Associated Press writers Paul Elias, Jocelyn Gecker, Janie Har, Daisy Nguyen, Olga R. Rodriguez, Sudhin Thanawala and Juliet Williams in San Francisco, Sophia Bollag in Sacramento and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu contributed to this report.

Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.

At the hospital in Paradise, more than 60 patients were evacuated to other facilities and some buildings caught fire and were damaged. But the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

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

Paradise fire: Hundreds trapped across California as blaze swells to 5,000 acres

An Associated Press photographer saw dozens of businesses and homes leveled or in flames, including a liquor store and gas station.

Flames consume a car dealership as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

Everything destroyed as wildfire scorches Paradise, California

Its a very dangerous and very serious situation, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said. Im driving through fire as we speak. Were doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas.

The blaze erupted as windy weather swept the state, creating extreme fire danger. A wind-whipped fire north of Los Angeles in Ventura County burned up to 39 square kilometres and at least one home in a matter of hours. It threatened thousands of homes and prompted evacuations of a mobile home park, a state university campus and some neighborhoods. A nearby blaze was smaller at about 5 square kilometres but moving quickly.

“It’s a very dangerous and very serious situation,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said. “We’re working very hard to get people out. The message I want to get out is: If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate.” Several evacuation centres were set up in nearby towns.

Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California and requested a presidential disaster declaration, saying that dangerous weather conditions were expected to last several days.

Kelly Lee called shelters looking for her husband’s 93-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Herrera, who was last heard from on Thursday morning. Herrera, who lives in Paradise with her 88-year-old husband Lou Herrera, left a frantic voicemail at around 9:30 a.m. saying they needed to get out.

Shari Bernacett said her husband tried to get people to leave the Paradise mobile home park they manage. He knocked on doors, yelled and screamed to alert as many residents as possible, Bernacett said.

Many abandoned their cars on the side of the road, fleeing on foot. Cars and trucks, some with trailers attached, were left on the roadside as evacuees ran for their lives, said Bass, the police officer. “They were abandoned because traffic was so bad, backed up for hours.”

Infernal wildfire visible from space sends California residents fleeing (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

My husband tried his best to get everybody out. The whole hills on fire. God help us! she said before breaking down crying. She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through flames before getting to safety, she said.

Paradise, located on a ridge, has limited escape routes. Traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock and residents abandoned vehicles and ran from the flames, carrying children and pets, officials said. One woman who was stuck in traffic went into labor, the Enterprise-Record newspaper reported.

Terrifying videos posted on social media showed cars driving along roads that looked like tunnels of fire with flames on both sides of the road.

Concerned friends and family posted frantic messages on Twitter and other sites saying they were looking for loved ones, particularly seniors who lived at retirement homes or alone.

In Ventura County, “Strong Santa Ana winds (are) expected to continue through this morning,” the National Weather Service in Los Angeles said on Twitter on Friday. That helped double the size of the Woolsey Fire to 8,000 acres (3238 hectares), fire officials said.

Among them was Kim Curtis, who was searching for her grandmother, who told family at 8 a.m. Thursday that she would flee her Paradise home in her Buick with her cat. Her grandmother, who is in her 70s and lives alone, never showed up up at a meeting spot in Chico, though.

Current map of evacuation zones in the City of Chico. Firefighters continue to actively engage the fire in order to protect life and property. Chico PD has alerted residents in the affective areas. #CampFire #ChicoFD pic.twitter.com/RdXQjcTf5e

Thousands evacuated over fast-moving California wildfire

Weve just been posting all over social media. And just praying for a miracle, honestly, said Curtis, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming, he said. There are dozens of strike teams that were bringing in from all parts of the state.

The sheriff confirmed reports that evacuees had to abandon their vehicles. Rescuers were trying to put them in other vehicles, he said.

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Were working very hard to get people out. The message I want to get out is: If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate, Honea said.

Camp Fire inferno: North California town of Paradise wiped out as thousands flee

The wildfire was reported around daybreak. Within six hours, it had grown to more than 69 square kilometers, Gaddie said.

Fire officials said the flames were being fueled by winds, low humidity, dry air and severely parched brush and ground from months without rain.

Basically, we havent had rain since last May or before that, said Read, the fire chief. Everything is a very receptive fuel bed. Its a rapid rate of spread.

At the hospital in Paradise, more than 60 patients were evacuated to other facilities and some buildings caught fire and were damaged. But the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

Paradise Burns As Californian Wildfire Rapidly Grows Into An 18,000-Acre Beast

Some of the patients were initially turned around during their evacuation because of gridlocked traffic and later airlifted to other hospitals, along with staff, Kinney said.

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

The National Weather Service issued red-flag warnings for fire dangers in many areas of the state, saying low humidity and strong winds were expected to continue through Friday evening.