Thou­sands flee North Cal­i­for­nia wild­fire

DNA (Delhi) - - WORLD -

Par­adise: A fast-mov­ing wild­fire ad­vanced to the out­skirts of the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia city of Chico early on Fri­day, forc­ing thou­sands to flee af­ter it left the nearby town of Par­adise in ru­ins.

Fire of­fi­cials is­sued a manda­tory evac­u­a­tion no­tice for homes east of Chico, a city of about 93,000 peo­ple sit­u­ated near Sacra­mento.

Flames from the unchecked, 20,000-acre Camp Fire were be­ing driven west­ward by 56 km-per-hour winds, fire of­fi­cials said.

The fire ear­lier ripped through Par­adise, about 20 miles east of Chico. “The town is dev­as­tated, ev­ery­thing is de­stroyed. There’s noth­ing much left stand­ing,” said Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion (Cal Fire) spokesman Scott Ma­clean.

“This fire moved so fast and grew so fast a lot of peo­ple got caught by it.”

Ma­clean said an as yet un­spec­i­fied num­ber of civil­ians and fire­fight­ers had been in­jured, and that it could be days be­fore au­thor­i­ties would know whether any­one had died.

Par­adise is lo­cated on a ridge and had lim­ited es­cape routes. Traf­fic ac­ci­dents

turned roads into grid­lock and res­i­dents aban­doned ve­hi­cles and ran from the flames car­ry­ing chil­dren and pets, of­fi­cials said. One woman stuck in traf­fic went into labour.

Res­cuers used a bull­dozer to push aban­doned cars out of the way to reach Feather River Hos­pi­tal and evac­u­ate pa­tients as flames en­gulfed the build­ing, Butte County Su­per­vi­sor Doug Teeter told.

AP

The Camp Fire rages through Par­adise, Cal­i­for­nia on Thurs­day

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