30,000 peo­ple evac­u­ated, sev­eral miss­ing in Cal­i­for­nia wild­fire

■ The blaze named “Camp Fire” has burnt more than 8,000 hectares in less than 24 hours since it be­gan on Thurs­day morn­ing

The Hitavada - - WORLD -

SOME 30,000 peo­ple were evac­u­ated af­ter a wild­fire broke out in Cal­i­for­nia and en­gulfed houses and pub­lic build­ings such as churches and schools in the town of Par­adise.

The blaze named “Camp Fire” has burnt more than 8,000 hectares in less than 24 hours since it be­gan on Thurs­day morn­ing and con­tin­ues to grow be­cause of the dry­ness of the ter­rain and strong winds in the area, ac­cord­ing to the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion (Calfire). No ca­su­al­ties have been re­ported yet but there are sev­eral peo­ple miss­ing while some peo­ple have suf­fered se­ri­ous burns, re­ports Efe news.

Evac­u­a­tion or­ders were given on Thurs­day in the small towns of Pulga, Ma­galia and Con­cow in Butte County, as well as in the town of Par­adise, with a pop­u­la­tion of about 26,000, and in the ru­ral areas of Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Val­ley.

In the early hours of Fri­day, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties is­sued evac­u­a­tion or­ders for parts of Chico, which has a pop­u­la­tion of 90,000, as flames were mov­ing to­wards the city. The area is about 140 km from state cap­i­tal Sacra­mento and about 280 km from the San Fran­cisco Bay area, where the smoke from the fire is vis­i­ble.

The fire spread rapidly through very dry ter­rain, helped by strong winds of up to 80 km per hour.

Act­ing Gover­nor of Cal­i­for­nia, Gavin New­som, re­quested the fed­eral gov­ern­ment for a pres­i­den­tial emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion for phys­i­cal and fi­nan­cial re­sources for the af­fected area.

Se­ri­ous fires in Cal­i­for­nia are in­creas­ingly fre­quent and vi­o­lent, as ev­i­denced by the fact that four of the five most de­struc­tive fires in the state’s his­tory have oc­curred in the past six years, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial records dat­ing back to 1932.

In Septem­ber, fire­fight­ers fi­nally con­tained the Men­do­cino Com­plex fire, ac­tive since July and con­sid­ered the largest in Cal­i­for­nia’s his­tory.

(AFP)

A home burns dur­ing the Camp fire in Par­adise, Cal­i­for­nia on Thurs­day.

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