Chico Camp Fire in Butte County

Saul Bowman
November 9, 2018

Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration to aid with multiple fires burning in California.

The Camp Fire began early Thursday in Paradise, about 90 miles north of Sacramento, burning 20,000 acres and threatening 15,000 structures as it moved west toward Chico Thursday night, according to Cal Fire officials.

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.

Approximately 200 civilians were reported to be trapped by the fire that had grown to over 16,000 acres by 4pm.

Firefighter Adrien Mahnke pauses while battling the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

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"The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out", McLean said.

Officials were sending as many firefighters as they could, Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart said.

The strong winds seen in the Bay Area also pose a danger by enabling the spread of fire, according to May.


With limited escape routes from the town, which is built on a ridge, traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock, with residents forced to abandon vehicles and run from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said. The message I want to get out is: "If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate".

At least 27,000 people in the town of Paradise about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco were ordered to flee.

"Given the Butte County fire is within close proximity, as a precaution Adventist Health Feather River Medical Center is evacuating all patients".

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

The Camp Fire, which started early on Thursday near Camp Creek, has been fuelled by strong winds and dry forest. "It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us".

She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through flames before getting to safety, she said. The whole hill's on fire.

Morgan Mason said her father told her that he could hear propane tanks blowing up all over Paradise this morning.

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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