Thousands of thousands of people fled a fast-moving firefield on Thursday in northern California, some pushed babies and pets as…
Thousands of thousands of people fled a fast-moving firefield on Thursday in northern California, some pushed babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and drove on foot in front of the flames that forced the evacuation of an entire city and destroyed hundreds of structures.
“Almost a lot of paradise society is destroyed, it’s this kind of devastation,” said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean sent on Thursday. “The wind as predicted came and beat it out.”
McLean estimated that a few thousand structures were destroyed in the city of 27,000 inhabitants about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, ordered to come out. The extent of the damage and the specific injury was not immediately known because officials could not access the dangerous area.
Butte County Calfire Chief Darren Read said at a press conference that two firefighters and several residents were injured.
As she fled Gina Oviedo a devastating scene where flames swallowed home explosions and wrapped tool coils blasted.
“It began to explode,” said Oviedo. “People began to get out of their vehicles and jumped.”
A photographer with associated press saw dozens of companies and home evenly or in flames, including a liquor store and gas station.
“It’s a very dangerous and very serious situation,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said. “I run through fire when we speak. We do everything we can to get people out of the affected areas.”
The blows broke out when the windy weather swept the state and created extreme fire hazards. A whipped fire north of Los Angeles in Ventura County burned about 1
The Executive California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared an emergency for the fire-catchment area in northern California.
Shari Bernacett said her husband was trying to make people leave paradise’s mobile home park as they cope. He “knocked on the doors, yelled and screamed” to warn as many residents as possible, Bernacett said.
“My husband tried his best to get everyone out. The whole litter is on fire. God helps us!” she said before he broke down crying. She and her husband took their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and ran through flames before they came to safety, she said.
Scary videos published on social media showed cars driving along roads that looked like fireplaces with flames on both sides of the road.
Concerned friends and family have written hostile messages on Twitter and other sites say they were looking for dear, especially seniors who lived in a retirement home or alone.
Among them was Kim Curtis, who was looking for her grandmother, who told the family at 8 o’clock that she should fly her paradise home in her Buick with her cat. Her grandmother, who is in the 70’s and lives alone, never showed up at a meeting place in Chico.
“We have just booked social media and just ask for a miracle, honestly,” said Curtis, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Officials sent as many firefighters as they could, said Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart.
“Every engine we could put on the fire is on fire now and more coming,” he said. “There are dozens of strikes we take from all parts of the state.”
The Sheriff confirmed that evacuated must abandon their vehicles. Savior tried to put them in other vehicles, he said.
“We are working very hard to get people out. The message I want to come out is: If you can evacuate, you must evacuate,” said Honea.
Wilderness was reported around the dawn. Within six hours it had grown to more than 26 square kilometers, Gaddie said.
Thick gray smoke and ashes filled the sky over paradise and could be seen from miles away.
Firefighters said that flames were burned by winds, low humidity, dry air and heavily dehydrated brush and were founded from months without rain.
“Basically, we have not had rain since May or earlier,” says Read, the Fire Department. “Everything is a very susceptible fuel bed. It’s a fast spread.”
At the hospital in Paradise, more than 60 patients were evacuated to other facilities and some buildings struck themselves and were injured. But the main plant, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, said spokesman Jill Kinney.
Some of the patients were initially turned during their evacuation due to gridlocked traffic and later fled to other hospitals, along with staff, said Kinney
Four hospital workers were detained in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, said Kinney.
National Weather Service issued red flags for firefighters in many parts of the state, saying low humidity and strong winds were expected to continue until Friday night.
Associated Presswriters Paul Elias, Jocelyn Gecker, Janie Har, Daisy Nguyen, Olga R. Rodriguez, Sudhin Thanawala and Juliet Williams in San Francisco, Sophia Bollag in Sacramento and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu contributed to this report.