At least 1,000 structures destroyed by fast-moving fire in Northern California

At least 1,000 structures destroyed by fast-moving fire in Northern California

Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean said Paradise is no longer standing.

It was not immediately known if there were injuries or fatalities.

"Things started exploding", said resident Gina Oviedo.

Butte County Sherriff Kory Honea told the Chico Enterprise-Record that "it's bad". "We're doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas".

Fire authorities did not indicate how the blaze started.

In October 2017, some 21 wildfires burned almost 95,000 acres and 7,000 buildings in Sonoma and Napa counties in the heart of California's wine country, killing 40 people.

Allana Hall said this marks the second time she has fled a California fire. He was wrong. It was the flush of the Camp Fire around the town that made him panic: "I was waving down people just anyone on the road just help me because I didn't have a vehicle or nothing".

She and her husband "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as numerous residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible, Bernacett 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.

"We never heard from them again", Lee said. She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through flames before getting to safety, she said.

"We've just been posting all over social media".

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One woman, Kim Curtis, said she was searching for her grandmother, a woman in her 70s who had said she was fleeing with her cat but had failed to turn up at an arranged meeting point and was not contactable. Her grandmother, who is in her 70s and lives alone, never showed up up at a meeting spot in Chico, though. "And just praying for a miracle, honestly", Ms Curtis said.

The Camp fire swept through Paradise, California, on Thursday, with officials saying at least 1,000 structures were destroyed.

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", spokesman Bryce Bennett told the Bee. 'There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state'.

With limited escape routes from the town, traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock, with residents abandoning vehicles and running from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said. "That's when I made a decision to get out".

The wildfire was reported around daybreak.

Thick gray smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away. Officials have put most of Northern California is under a Red Flag Warning, which means "extreme fire behaviour" can occur within 24 hours.

Cal Fire, the state's agency responsible for managing the region's chronic wildfires, reported that the blaze has been dubbed the "Camp Fire", a humorously serendipitous name that comes from it place of origin: the area of Camp Creek Road and Pulga Road near Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon, to the east of town. "Everything is a very receptive fuel bed".

Fire officials were working on a plan to rescue patients from a hospital after officials tried to evacuate them but had to turn back because of gridlocked traffic.

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

A Red Flag Warning is in place through Friday morning in the Butte County area, and winds are expected to gust at speeds as high as 40 miles per hour overnight, according to the National Weathers Service.

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