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Homes, hospital burn as thousands flee California wildfire

09 November 2018

"There's nothing much left standing", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) spokesperson Scott Maclean. The extent of the injuries and specific damage count was not immediately known as officials could not access the unsafe area.

The Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on November 8, 2018.

With late autumn winds fanning the flames of the California fires, causing some blazes to grow, these two dynamic maps are worth bookmarking, so you can stay up to date with the latest updates from affected areas in Northern California as well as Southern California.

"Things started exploding", said resident Gina Oviedo.

Earlier, at 8 p.m., the Butte County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation orders for the area on both sides of Oro Chico Highway from Durham Dayton north to Estates Drive. "As I was driving up.my doctor called me and said, 'You're cancer free'". A temporary refuge has been created in a Walgreens to house people until they can leave for a safer area. He "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as many residents as possible, Bernacett said.

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out. The fire is being kept south of Highway 32", according to a tweet from the university just before 4:30 a.m. Friday. She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through flames before getting to safety, she said.

"Most of them were immobile with walkers, or spouses that were bed-ridden, so we were trying to get additional units to come and try and help us, just taking as many as we could", he said, describing the community as having "a lot of elderly, a lot of immobile people, some low-income with no vehicles". 'There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state'. Multiple motorists have abandoned their vehicles. "The south side as well as the north side has been hit very hard as well". Cal Fire Chief Darren Read told reporters that an estimated 1,500 first-responders were at the scene or en route, as well as 300 fire engines, 20 bulldozers, aircrafts and other support vehicles. By nightfall, it had consumed more than 28 square miles (73 square kilometers) and firefighters had no containment on the blaze, McLean said.

By Thursday afternoon, the fire was growing at the rate of about one football field every three seconds, assisted by dry conditions and wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service says warm temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds are forecast for those areas to Friday morning.

The smoke of the rapidly growing blaze could be seen for miles.

"It's very chaotic", said Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol.

On social media many people posted anxious messages about elderly relatives who lived near the fire and were missing, urging authorities to assist them in evacuating. Twenty others were still awaiting rescue.

Medical personnel evacuate patients as the Feather River Hospital burns while the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday.

Homes, hospital burn as thousands flee California wildfire