Thou­sands flee fast-mov­ing fire

The Independent on Saturday - - WORLD -

A FAST-MOV­ING wild­fire that rav­aged a North­ern Cal­i­for­nia town yes­ter­day sent res­i­dents rac­ing to es­cape on roads that turned into tun­nels of fire as thick smoke dark­ened the day­time sky. Sev­eral thou­sand build­ings were de­stroyed by flames, a Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion official said.

“We were sur­rounded by fire, we were driv­ing through fire on each side of the road,” said po­lice of­fi­cer Mark Bass, who lives in the hard-hit town of Par­adise, where har­row­ing tales of es­cape and heroic res­cues emerged af­ter the en­tire com­mu­nity of 27000 was or­dered to evac­u­ate.

Wit­nesses re­ported see­ing homes, su­per­mar­kets, busi­nesses, restau­rants, schools and a re­tire­ment home up in flames.

Act­ing Cal­i­for­nia Govenor Gavin New­som de­clared a state of emer­gency in the area. |

REUTERS ANA

Ve­hi­cles are seen dur­ing an at­tempt to evac­u­ate Camp Fire in Par­adise, Cal­i­for­nia, US. |

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