- Evacuations were ordered for Paradise, Pulga and Concow in Northern California due to the Camp Fire.
- Patients at Feather River Hospital in Paradise were being evacuated.
A fast-moving wildfire that was sparked Thursday morning in Northern California prompted numerous evacuations.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said an evacuation order was issued for areas of Paradise, a town of about 27,000 people north of Sacramento, the Associated Press reported. These include Centerville and Butte Creek, northwest of Paradise.
Evacuations were also ordered in the nearby hamlets of Pulga and Concow.
Feather River Hospital, a retirement home and Ponderosa Elementary School in Paradise were evacuated, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. Butte College was closed.
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Dubbed the Camp Fire, the wildfire fueled by dry, windy conditions quickly spread to more than 8 square miles within just a few hours and forced the closure of several roads, according to Cal Fire. The fire is 0 percent contained.
The rapid growth of the fire took many residents by surprise. Shary Bernacett said she and her husband “knocked on doors, yelled and screamed” to alert as many of the residents of the mobile home park they manage in Paradise, just minutes before the fire arrived, the AP reports.
The Bernacett’s managed to escape the fire with their dog but had to drive through 12-foot high flames before reaching safety on Highway 99.
More than 16,000 homes and businesses are without power in Butte County, according to poweroutage.us.
Much of the state is under red flag warnings.
Winds will climb through the day, said weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Belles. Sustained winds from the east will increase to about 30 to 35 mph with higher winds in the prone canyons. Some isolated wind gusts might reach 60 mph Thursday evening or overnight.
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