Wildfire destroys entire town as massive blazes tear through California

The Camp Fire scorched 5,000 acres in about three hours officials say

The Camp Fire scorched 5,000 acres in about three hours officials say

What has been dubbed Camp Fire began early Thursday near the town of Pulga and moved west, consuming 8,000 acres by 1 pm, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Shari Bernacett said her husband tried to get people to leave the Paradise mobile home park they manage and had minutes to evacuate. Emergency crews were working to help people evacuate there, he said.

Everyone in Paradise, a community of 27,000 people about 290 kilometres northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to get out.

With limited escape routes from the town, traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock, with residents abandoning vehicles and running from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said. The normally two-way road has been converted to one-way to allow more people to escape.

On social media many people posted anxious messages about elderly relatives who lived near the fire and were missing, urging authorities to assist them in evacuating. A California fire official says a fast-moving wildfire in Northern California has destroyed structures and injured civilians.

Herrera, who lives in Paradise with her 88-year-old husband Lou Herrera, left a frantic voicemail at around 9:30 a.m. saying they needed to get out.

A group of US Forest Service firefighters monitor a back fire while battling to save homes at the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, US November 8, 2018. "We're doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas".

TV personality Adrienne Janic said on Twitter that firefighters were using her home as a command centre.

"Firefighters continue to be challenged with extreme fire and weather conditions including strong winds and with long range spotting", Cal Fire wrote on their website Thursday. One of them was on fire, and some cars were driving through it, but she didn't want to chance it with the children in the auto, he said.

The Woolsey Fire, the blaze now causing the most concern for firefighters, was up to 7,500 acres around 1:30 a.m. local time, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

In addition to the Woolsey Fire, the Hill Fire was burning northwest of Thousand Oaks in the Santa Rosa Valley.

'Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming, ' he said. 'There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state'. "The south side as well as the north side has been hit very hard as well".

Four of the hospital's employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said.

"There was a big, giant wall of fire on the side of the auto", Kambourian said of his wife's evacuation.

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