Thousands flee raging wildfire
TENS of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire yesterday in Northern California, some clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the flames.
The wildfire forced the evacuation of an entire town and destroyed hundreds of structures. Everyone in Paradise, a community of 27,000 people about 290km northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to get out. The extent of the injuries and damage was not immediately known.
Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.
As she fled, Gina Oviedo described a devastating scene in which flames engulfed homes, sparked explosions and toppled utility poles.
“Things started exploding,” Ms Oviedo said. “People started getting out of their vehicles and running.”
Chief Read said he had reports of several hundred destroyed structures in Paradise.
The National Weather Service issued red-flag warnings for fire dangers in many areas of the state, saying low humidity and strong winds were expected to continue.
Flames consume a building as a fire tears through Paradise in California. A department fire official says a fast-moving wildfire has destroyed structures and injured civilians.