Tens of thousands flee fast-moving Northern California fire

Tens of thousands flee fast-moving Northern California fire

In Northern California, the Camp Fire advanced rapidly to the outskirts of the city of Chico early on Friday, forcing thousands to flee after it left the nearby town of Paradise in ruins, California fire officials said. "The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out".

Over the course of the day, evacuation orders were issued in Paradise, Concow, and Pulga, towns about 200 miles north of San Francisco. Multiple motorists have abandoned their vehicles.

Smoke from a wildfire in Butte County has moved over the Bay Area Thursday, prompting an alert by air quality authorities.

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. "It's really dry and we have low humidity - and unfortunately those are great conditions for a fire to spread".

The fast-moving fire forced startled residents trying to evacuate to abandon their vehicles and flee the town by foot, according to the AP, citing Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.

According to Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Lillis, some 60 to 70 people were awaiting an emergency evacuation at a Walgreen's in Paradise. "That's when I made a decision to get out".

"It's a very risky and very serious situation".

"Had he not put out that fire, I would not have made it to the vehicle", she said.

A former U.S. Marine combat veteran opened fire in a bar packed with college students in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday, killing 12 people in an incident that stunned a bucolic community with a reputation for safety.

Groups of fleeing residents gathered in a Kmart parking lot in Paradise, with their dogs and some with horses, waiting to be evacuated, said Shelley Freeman who spoke to a relative and friends in Paradise.

Detained SA journalists "returned to hotel"
Sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo and Africa Programme coordinator Angela Quintal who are detained in Tanzania. He added that both women were now at the South African embassy in Tanzania's economic capital Dar-es-Salaam.

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

Flames consume a building as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise, California.

'My husband tried his best to get everybody out.

"When this fire started this morning wind speeds were 35 to 40 miles per hour gusts", Cal Fire spokesperson Lynne Tolmachoff said.

Travel was limited on U.S. Highway 101 in Ventura County, state highway patrol troopers said.

The fire was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area.

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", Bennett said. Within roughly six hours, the fire had grown to more than 26 square miles (69 square kilometers), said Gaddie.

"Basically, we haven't had rain since last May or before that", said Read, the fire chief. "It's a rapid rate of spread". But the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

Authorities were working on a plan to remove patients from a hospital after rescuers had to turn back because of gridlocked traffic.

Yesterday, Cal Fire officials said that parts of Northern and Southern California was under a "red flag" warning for critical fire weather "due to gusty winds, dry fuels & low humidity".

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