Man Fire Drives Through Camp Fire Flames in Northern California

FIRE PIC 1 CAL FIRE BUTTEcredit Cal Fire Butte County

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean late tonight.

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.

He estimated that a couple of thousand structures, including offices, large stores and restaurants in the 27,000 population town were flattened by the fire, although exact numbers are not known.

The fire began around 6:33 a.m. on November 8 and swept through the area at a speed of about one football field every three seconds, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). The message I want to get out is: "If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate".

"We're getting them on other vehicles with room".

People were forced to abandon their cars and run, carrying their children and possessions, and those who had fled reported seeing houses explode as they were engulfed in flames. He said that people spoke there about neighbors in Concow who had been unable to escape their homes. The whole hill's on fire.

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

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A red flag warning is in effect in the area, meaning Thursday will bring 20-to-40-mph winds and low humidity that threaten to spread the wildfire.

Clunies-Ross stayed behind to gather essentials not realizing how quickly danger was approaching, she says.

In Chico, west of the fire, resident Tina Greer said the care home where her disabled son lives with five other patients was evacuating.

"Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming", he said.

A combination of profoundly dry vegetation and heavy winds are contributing to the fire's explosive pattern.

Some of the patients were initially turned around during their evacuation because of gridlocked traffic and later airlifted to other hospitals, along with some staff, Kinney said. "We're anxious sick. They do have a auto, but they both are older and can be confused at times".

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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