Deaths feared as wildfire engulfs North California town

Evacuations ordered in Northern California as fast-moving wildfire spreads

Evacuations ordered in Northern California as fast-moving wildfire spreads

Meanwhile, portions of Southern California remained under siege early Friday as two large fires threatened numerous Ventura County communities. Mandatory evacuations were in effect early Friday, and 30,000 homes were under threat from the blaze. It's already burned dozens of homes and threatens 30,000 more. "It's really dry and we have low humidity - and unfortunately those are great conditions for a fire to spread". He said approximately 40,000 residents in Butte County have been evacuated due to the Camp Fire. "I don't know. When I left it was all on fire".

He estimated the Camp Fire burned a couple of thousand structures to the ground in the town of 27,000 people, about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Other witnesses reported seeing homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement home engulfed in flames.

Firefighters battle the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday.

Smoke from a wildfire in Butte County has moved over the Bay Area Thursday, prompting an alert by air quality authorities.

The wildfire was reported around daybreak.

"It's a very unsafe and very serious situation", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.

According to Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Lillis, some 60 to 70 people were awaiting an emergency evacuation at a Walgreen's in Paradise. The message I want to get out is: "If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate". To make matters worse, as the flames approached, they sparked explosions and toppled utility poles.

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. "People started getting out of their vehicles and running".

Her front lawn was on fire in about 30 minutes and she could not make it to her auto. "They were abandoned because traffic was so bad, backed up for hours".

Thick grey smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away. He said rescuers were trying to put them in other vehicles.

"There's nothing much left standing", he said.

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

Chico police officer John Barker, along with his partner, evacuated several seniors from an apartment complex in the area.

Many people took to social media to register their distress.

Kelly Lee told the AP she called several shelters looking for her husband's 93-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Herrera, who was last heard from Thursday morning.

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

Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Butte County.

ASSOCIATED PRESS A wildfire comes down from a hilltop near Newbury Park, Calif., on November 8.

The Chico Fire Department said: "Firefighters continue to actively engage the fire in order to protect life and property".

The page goes on to state, "During heightened fire danger, CAL FIRE will place additional firefighters on duty, staff more fire engines and keep more equipment on 24 hours a day to be able to respond to any new fires".

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", Bennett said.

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