Californians run for lives from fire
Tens of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire in Northern California, some clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the flames that forced the evacuation of an entire town.
Everyone in Paradise, a community of 27,000 people about 290km northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to get out. 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.”
Authorities were working on a plan to remove patients from a hospital after rescuers had to turn back because of gridlocked traffic.
“It’s a very dangerous and very serious situation,” Sheriff Kory Honea said. “We’re doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas.”
The blaze destroyed a number of structures and injured some people, but the extent of the injuries was unknown.