Thousands evacuated over fast-moving California wildfire

Thousands evacuated over fast-moving California 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.

Shari Bernacett said her husband tried to get people to leave the Paradise mobile home park they manage.

Butte County supervisor Doug Teeter said authorities used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out the way to reach Feather River Hospital and evacuate patients as flames engulfed its old wing and the roof of the emergency department.

The Concow School sent its 60 students home shortly after the blaze, but many faculty members are anxious about their homes, said Golden Feather Union Elementary School District Superintendent Josh Peete.

A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. The smoke reported by residents in Berkeley, however, comes from a fire about 150 miles north in Butte County.

Evacuated hospital patients are being taken to hospitals throughout the region. "By the time we got out, the flames were a half mile away from the school". State fire authorities said they could not confirm the reports.

Fire officials say firefighters are working to access the area and that the blaze continues to spread.

Videos and photos on social media show thick, opaque smoke wafting over the ridges toward town.

'My husband tried his best to get everybody out. She said people left their vehicles and ran when they started hearing explosions. God help us!' Bernacett said before breaking down crying. The Butte County Sheriff's Office has issued mandatory evacuation orders for most residents of Paradise and the smaller communities of Concow and Pulga.

Four hospital employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said. The warning will remain in effect until Friday morning, officials said.

"We had to drive through flames to make it out safely", she said.

"Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming", he said. She said she did not know the exact number of people evacuated.

Fire officials said the flames were being fueled by winds, low humidity, dry air and severely parched brush and ground from months without rain.

The Camp Fire began about 6:33 a.m. and within three hours had burned about 5,000 acres, according to Cal Fire.

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