Officials order evacuations as Camp Fire threatens Northern California

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

A fast-moving wildfire that has grown to 5,000 acres has prompted evacuations in California's Butte County.

Sky-darkening smoke from the Camp Fire in the Feather River Canyon near Paradise, Calif. on Thursday.

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

With limited escape routes from the town, which is built on a ridge, traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock, with residents forced to abandon vehicles and run from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said. Emergency crews were working to help people evacuate there, he said.

Bernacett said she and her husband "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as numerous residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible to leave. "God help us!" she said before breaking down crying.

She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through 12-foot high flames before getting to safety on Highway 99. He was wrong. It was the flush of the Camp Fire around the town that made him panic: "I was waving down people just anyone on the road just help me because i didn't have a vehicle or nothing".

At the hospital with the stranded patients, some buildings caught fire and were damaged, but the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

Bernacett says the fire overtook the Feather River Hospital, about two miles (three kilometers) east of the mobile home park. The fire has already consumed more than 8,000 acres.

In Chico, west of the fire, resident Tina Greer said the care home where her disabled son lives with five other patients was evacuating.

Butte County Sheriff's Office ordered evacuations for Pulga, South Pine Zone, Old Magalia Zone and South Coutelenc Zone as of 10 a.m. Shelters opened at Oroville Nazarene Church at 9 a.m. and Neighborhood Church in Chico.

Greer said heavy ash was falling in Chico.

State Highway 191 was closed at SR-70 due to the fire, Caltrans reported.

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

CAL FIRE said Wednesday that a Red Flag Warning was issued for most of Northern California's interior as well as parts of Southern California through Friday morning.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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