State of emergency declared as 'rapidly-moving' California fire grows



Gaddie explained how his team was able to evacuate Paradise city residents in a short amount of time. Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter said he was on a bulldozer that pushed cars out of the way Thursday to get to the Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in the town of Paradise.

"The whole town is burning", Bob Van Camp, a resident who escaped on his motorbike, told local TV channel Action News Now.

An AP photographer found businesses and homes leveled or in flames, including a liquor store and gas station. "There's nothing much left standing", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) spokesman Scott Maclean.

The town of about 27,000 people 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco was evacuated.

One of the worst-affected areas is the northern town of Paradise, California, where 18,000 acres were destroyed by the fire in just seven hours on Thursday, writes Newsweek.

The Woolsey Fire started in Simi Valley Thursday, where it destroyed about 30 homes and burned 8,000 acres by early Friday.

The fire in Paradise was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area.

Malibu is less than 20 miles away from Thousand Oaks, a town that is still reeling from Wednesday's mass shooting where former US Marine combat veteran Ian Long opened fire in a bar packed with college students, killing 12 people.

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

"We're working very hard to get people out.The message I want to get out is: If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate", Honea said.

"Had he not put out that fire, I would not have made it to the auto", she said.

At around 9 evacuation warning was issued for the area south of Highway 32 east of Bruce Road, inside the city limits, according to the Chico Police Department. The exact number of injuries is also unknown and authorities still don't know what caused the blaze. "People were abandoning their cars and running with their babies and kids".

The Camp Fire started around 6:30 a.m. Thursday near Pulga Road at Camp Creek Road near Jarbo Gap. "Just landed back home and had one hour to pack up and evacuate our home".

Firefighters battle the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday. Rescuers were trying to put them in other vehicles, he said.

"There was a big, giant wall of fire on the side of the auto", Kambourian said of his wife's evacuation.

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.

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

Chico police officer John Barker and his partner evacuated several elderly people from an apartment complex.

As CNN points out, over 2200 firefighters are now battling the Camp Fire and they face a tough road ahead.

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out".

"Basically, we haven't had rain since last May or before that", said Read, the fire chief. "They do have a vehicle, but they both are older and can be confused at times".

Driven by high winds and dry conditions, the blaze dubbed the Camp Fire swept through the town of Paradise.

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