Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Infernal wildfire visible from space sends California residents fleeing (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Infernal wildfire visible from space sends California residents fleeing (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Evacuations were underway as firefighters battled a massive blaze, dubbed the Camp Fire, that was threatening the town of Paradise in Butte County Thursday, officials said.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District also issued a warning Thursday afternoon, notifying residents of air quality impacts in the Bay Area due to the smoke drifting south from the Camp Fire.

Butte County Sherriff Kory Honea told the Chico Enterprise-Record that "it's bad".

"Had he not put out that fire, I would not have made it to the vehicle", she said.

All of Paradise, a town of about 27,000 people 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to evacuate, said Butte County Sheriff's spokeswoman Miranda Bowersox.

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A local fire official said there were multiple injuries among civilians and firefighters. A fire had broken out in her yard, blocking the path to her auto.

Videos and photos on social media show thick, opaque smoke wafting over the ridges toward town.

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

Among them was Kim Curtis, who was searching for her grandmother, who told family at 8 a.m. today that she would flee her Paradise home in her Buick with her cat.

He confirmed reports that evacuees had to abandon their vehicles as they fled the scene. We're working very hard to get people out. "We had to ride through flames to get here", he said from the side of a road west of Paradise. The whole hill's on fire.

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Butte County supervisor Doug Teeter said authorities used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out the way to reach Feather River Hospital and evacuate patients as flames engulfed its old wing and the roof of the emergency department.

A wildfire in Northern California has grown to almost 8 square miles (20 square kilometers) as officials rush to evacuate residents.

Bernacett said she and her husband "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as numerous residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible to leave the area Thursday morning as authorities ordered the area evacuated.

Mandatory evacuations are underway in Northern California as the Camp Fire continues to blaze through at least 18,000 acres.

Officials have put most of Northern California is under a Red Flag Warning, which means "extreme fire behaviour" can occur within 24 hours.

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