'The community of Paradise is destroyed': Thousands displaced in California wildfire


A pair of rapidly intensifying wildfires in Ventura County, California, are forcing thousands of evacuations and already burning structures. "The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out".

Harrowing tales of escape and heroic rescues emerged from Paradise, where the entire community of 27,000 was ordered to evacuate.

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.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District also issued a warning Thursday afternoon, notifying residents of air quality impacts in the Bay Area due to the smoke drifting south from the Camp Fire.

Farther south in the Los Angeles region, the Woolsey and Hill Fires were whipped up Thursday evening by powerful winds that pushed them through canyons and to the edge of Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands, both of which were evacuated, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A red flag warning is Cal Fire's most serious caution.

Authorities fear the fire, fueled by winds, would reach the city of Chico - a city of 90,000 people where many Butte County families already have evacuated to shelters. Emergency crews were working to help people evacuate there, he said. "We tried to get all the nondigital things that we could - you know, stuff that couldn't be replaced", Peete said.

"It's a very risky and very serious situation". "It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us".

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Tamera responded to Ashley's tweet , informing her that she is Alaina's aunt and would like to know more about the situation. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said an investigation is ongoing, and it is unclear what motivated the attack.

Videos of the area posted on social media showed cars driving along what appeared to be a tunnel of flame, while others depicted untouched lawns or buildings set against a backdrop of deep orange, the fire racing towards people's homes. The department said 30,000 people had been evacuated in the area and as many as 30,000 homes were threatened. "And just praying for a miracle, honestly", Ms Curtis said.

Santa Rosa police said the department and Napa County's fire dispatch center have been inundated with calls about the smoke.

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

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

The fire was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state". He said rescuers were trying to put them in other vehicles. Within six hours, it had grown to more than 69 square kilometres, Gaddie said. She captured photos of low-hanging black smoke stretching for miles as she and her boyfriend evacuated Paradise. "It's a rapid rate of spread".

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

The Adventist Health Feather River hospital in town caught fire, as firefighters battled the flames, Lillis wrote.

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.