Raging wildfire reduces California town to ashes

Raging wildfire reduces California town to ashes

Raging wildfire reduces California town to ashes

Jerry Brown is out of the state.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company said about 14,000 residents of Butte and Plumas counties were without power due to fire activity and requests from firefighters to cut electricity in certain areas for safety, Sacramento Bee reported.

Footage he captured showed the hellish conditions he faced as he battled through thick smoke with heat engulfing the truck as the temperature rose inside the vehicle as giant sparks, flames covered the burning road and covered the roof.

- The town of Paradise, Calif.in the Sierra Nevada foothills just north of Sacramento, best known for its deep canyons, the Feather River and a legendary story about a 19th century saloon, was ravaged in fire. As of Friday morning, numerous roads leading out of town were closed.

This photo taken from video provided by CBS2/KCAL9 shows a wildfire burning in Camarillo, Calif., Thursday afternoon, November 8, 2018.

A California woman discovered an "ominous" burnt piece of paper that fell from the sky, just miles from a fast-moving wildfire in Northern California. At one point, a tree branch fell on his auto, smashing his windshield and denting his hood.

"Things started exploding", resident Gina Oviedo said. He said that people spoke there about neighbors in Concow who had been unable to escape their homes. A fire official said the plan was to create a fire break along a road to prevent the flames from overpowering the neighborhood. The first firefighters to arrive found some 10-15 acres burning. Gusts have reached speeds of 65 miles per hour.

And officials cautioned that the situation could still change rapidly.

Reporter Laura Anthony, of the local ABC station KGO, shot video of a "firenado" in Paradise Thursday.

By all accounts, the scrambled evacuation of Paradise was harrowing.

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

The town of Chico, population 93,000, could be next in the path of the wildfire, which was forecast to be driven westward overnight by 35-mile-per hour (56 km-per-hour) winds, said Butte County Fire Chief Darren Read. It threatened thousands of homes and prompted evacuations of a mobile home park, a state university campus and some neighbourhoods.

Many people took to social media to register their distress.

"It was absolutely dark", said resident Mike Molloy, who said he made a split decision based on the wind to leave Thursday morning, packing only the minimum and joining a sea of other vehicles.

Schools in the county would be closed on Friday.

The blaze that started Thursday morning east of Paradise and decimated the town also spread to the west. The university said it planned to close Friday "out of an abundance of caution".

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", Bennett said.

Smoke from the fire drifted in a huge plume and set off smoke alarms as far away as San Francisco, almost 150 miles away.

For a list of evacuations, shelter and resources on official information about the Camp Fire, see our list here.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for strong winds and low relative humidity.

Bill Murphy says winds have calmed down in the valley but that there are "shifting, erratic winds" with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kph) along ridge tops.

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 risky weather conditions were expected to last several days.

The blaze is one of 14 now active in California.

California has experienced debilitating fires of unprecedented regularity in the past few years. The state's largest utility, PG&E Corp.

The Butte County Camp Fire has burned over 8,000 acres of land and is zero percent contained as of press time, according to information released by the CAL FIRE Butte Unit and the Butte County Fire Department on their shared twitter account.

A year ago the Tubbs Fire in nearby Napa and Sonoma counties killed 22 people.

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