Wildfire Near Chico Grows To 5,000 Acres; Evacuations Ordered

Camp Fire- PLUMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICECamp Fire

Camp Fire- PLUMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICECamp Fire

Evacuations were underway as firefighters battled a massive blaze, dubbed the Camp Fire, that was threatening the town of Paradise in Butte County Thursday, officials said.

California wildfires are burning again, with the Camp Fire near Chico the latest large fire to erupt in Northern California.

Gina Oviedo said there was fire everywhere as she got out of the town of Paradise about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco on Thursday.

Oviedo described a devastating scene, saying homes were engulfed in flames and utility poles were crashing down. She said people left their vehicles and ran when they started hearing explosions. Paradise itself is around 70 miles south of Redding, where the Carr Fire killed eight people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes in July.

Cal Fire tweeted that the fire was "very dangerous" and urged people to follow evacuation orders.

The sheriff confirmed reports that evacuees had to abandon their vehicles. The entire town has been evacuated, with traffic backing up throughout the area as residents try to get to safety.

At least 27,000 people in the town of Paradise about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco were ordered to flee Thursday. Emergency crews were working to help people evacuate there, he said. Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.

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The Camp Fire, which started early on Thursday near Camp Creek, has been fuelled by strong winds and dry forest.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 621,743 acres (251,610 hectares) burned through Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, almost twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and almost triple the five-year average.

"The whole hill's on fire", she said while crying.

Freeman says she's had trouble reaching her family and friends who live in the area because phone lines are down.

Freeman says she's scared for everyone and feels helpless from far away.

Four of the hospital's employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said.

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.

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