Thousands Evacuated Due to Fast-Moving Wildfire in Butte County

Minnie Murray
November 9, 2018

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.

Evacuations were also directed for all of Paradise, which is home to almost 27,000 residents, and nearby Pulga due to the Camp Fire, according to news reports.

The wildfire was reported at 6:30 a.m., affecting about 30,000 people, Rick Carhart, a Cal Fire spokesman, said. McLean said that by the middle of the day, there was so much smoke in the air, it looked like it was nighttime.

By 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Paradise resident Tanah Clunies-Ross said she could not see her auto from her front door through the cloud of smoke. "I'm driving through fire as we speak".

The massive plume from the Camp Fire, burning in the Feather River Canyon near Paradise, Calif., wafts over the Sacramento Valley as seen from Chico, Calif., on Thursday.

Shari Bernacett said she and her husband tried to get people to leave the mobile home park they manage in Paradise and had minutes to evacuate as flames reached the east side of the town.

Butte College also closed Thursday morning, not because of the fire but so that fire personnel can use the campus as a staging area, the school said. "Once it got going it picked up very rapidly".


Morgan Mason said her father told her that he could hear propane tanks blowing up all over Paradise this morning. "That's when I chose to get out".

Cal Fire said several hundred structures have been been destroyed, but an official count won't be available until they can get into the area.

Some of the hospital's 'outbuildings, ' such as out-patient clinics caught fire and were damaged but the main hospital was not, said Kinney.

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

Yesterday, Cal Fire officials said that parts of Northern and Southern California was under a "red flag" warning for critical fire weather "due to gusty winds, dry fuels & low humidity". The Associated Press said the Ventura County Fire Department had ordered evacuation of some communities in the path of the flames - not far from the site of a deadly mass shooting at a bar in the city of Thousand Oaks.

Mandatory evacuations are underway in Northern California as the Camp Fire continues to blaze through at least 18,000 acres.

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