Man Fire Drives Through Camp Fire Flames in Northern California

Evacuations Ordered in Butte County California as the Camp Fire Expands

Evacuations Ordered in Butte County California as the Camp Fire Expands

The Camp Fire began early Thursday morning near Camp Creek Road and Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea called it a "very unsafe and serious situation", AP reports, and noted that some residents have been forced to abandon their vehicles to escape the conflagration.

The wildfire was reported at 6:30 a.m., Rick Carhart, a Cal Fire spokesman, said.

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

"This fire moved so fast and grew so fast a lot of people got caught by it".

Flames consume a auto and building as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise, Calif., today.

"We grabbed our animals and some food and some clothes and we're getting the heck out of here", one man 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 fire has burned 20,000 acres and is not contained. The fire destroyed about 1,000 structures in Paradise, including a church and some buildings at a local hospital, according to Cal Fire and interviews with residents.

As people fled in cars, some abandoned their vehicles, running from encroaching flames as they held babies in their arms and pets, said Gina Oviedo, who described a devastating scene as she evacuated the town of Paradise. He started putting out the fire and yelled at her to get back inside, she says.

Red flag warnings for "critical fire weather conditions" were in effect not only for the Sacramento Valley but also through Central and Southern California.

There were no reports of fatalities or severe injuries.

"We were surrounded by fire, we were driving through fire on each side of the road", said police officer Mark Bass, who lives in Paradise and works in Chico. "God help us!" Bernacett said before breaking down crying. "The message I want to get out is if you can evacuate, you need to evacuate", Honea said.

In Ventura County, two wildfires that broke out Thursday are threatening thousands of people. Even though Chico is more than 150 miles north of San Francisco, a smoke advisory has been issued for the entire Bay Area, as well as other parts of Northern California.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 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.

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.