Camp Fire Closes Schools In Butte County On Friday

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 9, 2018

Firefighters battle the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday. The fire grew to 10,000 acres on Thursday, and forced the mandatory evacuations of several areas. By 2:00 p.m. local time, it had grown to 18,000 acres, according to Cal Fire.

A statue sits on the deck of a burning home as the Camp Fire moves through the area on November 8, 2018 in Paradise, California.

A vintage vehicle rests among debris as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise.

"We grabbed our animals and some food and some clothes and we're getting the heck out of here", one man said.

Flames from the unchecked, 20,000-acre (8,100-hectare) Camp Fire were being driven westward by 35-mile-per hour (56 km-per-hour) winds, fire officials said.

"The first part of this fuel bed had not seen fire for many years". Fire officials said some structures have been destroyed in addition to injuries.

Over 30,000 residents of Paradise, Butte Creek, and Magalia were ordered to evacuate, as were local hospitals, schools, and a retirement home.

A red flag warning is in effect through Friday morning, meaning that firefighters face high winds and low humidity that help spread the wildfire.

"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.

"The town is devastated, everything is destroyed", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott Maclean, who spent much of the day in Paradise.

"We have received reports of some fatalities, those reports have not yet been verified", Butte County Sheriff Kory Hones told a press conference.

"We never heard from them again", Lee said. "The message I want to get out is if you can evacuate, you need to evacuate", Honea said.

A pair of rapidly intensifying wildfires in Ventura County, California, are forcing thousands of evacuations and already burning structures.

"Firefighters continue to actively engage the fire in order to protect life and property", the Chico Fire Department said in a tweet. 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.

The Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise evacuated all its patients and staff, given its close proximity to the fire, and transported them safely to hospitals in neighboring towns, said Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman.

The region has grappled with serious wildfires - including the worst in the state's history, the Mendocino and Thomas fires - on and off since 2017.

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