Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Officials order evacuations as Camp Fire threatens Northern California

Officials order evacuations as Camp Fire threatens Northern California

"I was frantic", she said.

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.

A fast-moving wildfire roared through a Northern California town on Thursday, with reports of fatalities as it burned hundreds of homes and sent tens of thousands of people fleeing 50-foot-high (15.25-metres-high) flames, authorities and a Reuters witness said.

"It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us", Bass said.

"Within half an hour, the whole place was in flames", he said. At one point, a tree branch fell on his vehicle, smashing his windshield and denting his hood.

A sheriff's spokesperson says about 27,000 people were told to flee from the town of Paradise.

The fire in Paradise burned fast, reports CBS News' David Begnaud. A member of the town, Brynn Parrott Chatfield, shared a video of the fire while driving in a auto on Facebook.

A hospital and several schools were evacuated as thick grey smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away.

The hospital's parent company could not be reached for comment.

Paradise, located on a ridge, has limited escape routes.

Numerous people reported missing on social media are elderly.

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Cal Fire spokesman, Bryce Bennett, stated earlier in the day there was a possibility the fire could enter city limits.

"Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming", he said.

Fire officials were working on a plan to rescue patients from a hospital after officials tried to evacuate them but had to turn back because of gridlocked traffic.

One of the worst-affected areas is the northern town of Paradise, California, where 18,000 acres were destroyed by the fire in just seven hours on Thursday, writes Newsweek.

A red flag warning is in effect in the area, meaning Thursday will bring 20-to-40-mph winds and low humidity that threaten to spread the wildfire.

'The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds, ' Carhart said.

Google's 2018 Statewide Fire Map for California lists all the active fires in the state for which California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is responding.

California has experienced debilitating fires of unprecedented regularity in the past few years.

Allana Hall said this marks the second time she has fled a California fire.

LA County Fire tweeted: "Fire has jumped the 101 fwy near Chesebro and is headed to Ocean Mandatory Evacuations, 101 Fwy to the coast between Las Virgenes Cyn /Malibu Cyn the LA County line". In October 2017, some 21 wildfires burned almost 95,000 acres and 7,000 buildings in Sonoma and Napa counties in the heart of California's wine country, killing 40 people.

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