Firefighters battle to save structures while battling the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 8, 2018.
Evacuations were ordered for the Butte towns of Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley, fire officials said. - More than 18,000 acres have been scorched in a matter of hours burning with it a hospital, a gas station and dozens of homes.
Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California.
"We grabbed our animals and some food and some clothes and we're getting the heck out of here", one man said.
A combination of profoundly dry vegetation and heavy winds are contributing to the fire's explosive pattern. The fire has already consumed more than 8,000 acres. "There is significant loss of structures, and civilian and firefighter injuries".
However, on Thursday the place is very far from paradise: a rapidly growing wildfire encompassing 6,000 acres is closing in on the town, forcing its residents to drop everything and evacuate, the San Francisco Chroniclereported.
A red flag warning is in effect in the area, meaning Thursday will bring 20-to-40-mph winds and low humidity that threaten to spread the wildfire.
A California wildfire raced across a northern county in the state on Thursday, reducing the town of Paradise to ashes and injuring residents and first responders, fire officials said.
"Everything was ignited by the time I got out of my house, everything was on fire", another person said. "That's when I chose to get out".
Travel was limited on U.S. Highway 101 in Ventura County, state highway patrol troopers said.
BFD spokesperson Keith May said BFD is sending one engine to assist the City of Oakland as its fire department responds to a fire on Highway 13, just south of Joaquin Miller Road. A video he took captures the hellacious conditions he described; thick smoke and heat surrounding the truck as the temperature rose inside, while giant sparks and flames licked the roof over his head in near pitch-black darkness.
"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", California fire captain Scott McLean said.
About 3,300 students and staff members from Paradise's 11 schools were evacuated in buses and employees' cars to a center in Chico, Butte County Schools Superintendent Tim Taylor said.
Google Maps continues to update its 2018 California fire map on the various blazes, as well as a Google Crisis Map with information about specific California wildfires including the Camp Fire.
Evacuation notices were set for homes on the east side of Chico, a city of about 93,000 people situated about 90 miles (145 km) north of Sacramento.
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