Thousands evacuated over fast-moving California wildfire

The Camp Fire scorched 5,000 acres in about three hours officials say

The Camp Fire scorched 5,000 acres in about three hours officials say

Dozens of people have been reported missing and remained unaccounted for Friday morning. At one point, the unrelenting flames burned about 2,000 acres per hour taking down everything - big box stores, homes, and businesses - in its path.

The first firefighters to arrive found about ten to 15 acres burning with wind gusts of almost 50mph blamed for the speed the blaze's rapid growth.

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.

These are firestorms - towering, fast-moving walls of flames hundreds of feet high - the kind of fires that are not only uncontrolled by firefighters, but uncontrollable. Capt. John Gaddie said.

At a briefing Friday, the California Office of Emergency Services announced that 52,000 people have been evacuated.

The blaze began early on Thursday and quickly charred 3,237 hectares, forcing the evacuation of the 27,000 residents of Paradise, about 240 km northeast of San Francisco, and other communities, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in a statement.

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

Even firefighters lost their homes.

California has declared a state of emergency due to the Camp Fire's spread. "A lot of our own members have lost their houses. So we really need to be thinking about this from a strategic standpoint". We had access problems trying to get to the fire because of its location up in the mountains. "That's that's what we do". It threatened thousands of homes and prompted evacuations of a mobile home park, a state university campus and some neighbourhoods. "And just praying for a miracle, honestly", said Curtis, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. "I thought, 'If this is a piece of the Bible, this is going to be insane, '" she told the Chronicle.

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"We had to drive through flames to make it out safely", she said. "We have nothing now".

"Firefighters continue to be challenged with extreme fire and weather conditions including strong winds and with long range spotting", Cal Fire wrote on their website Thursday.

Two out-of-control fires are on the move in Southern California, not far from the scene of Wednesday night's mass shooting at a bar.

Back in Butte County, concerned friends and family posted frantic messages on Twitter and other sites saying they were looking for loved ones, particularly seniors who lived at retirement homes or alone.

A nurse called Rita Miller at about 7 a.m. Thursday, telling her she had to get her disabled mother, who lives a few blocks away, and flee Paradise immediately.

Pay attention to evacuation information, follow very closely all of the public safety social media.

"I'm just terrified", said Roberts, 56.

At around 9 p.m.an 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.

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