Acting Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Butte County.
And a fast-moving wildfire that ravaged a Northern California town Thursday sent residents racing to escape on roads that turned into tunnels of fire as thick smoke darkened the daytime sky, wiping out what a Cal Fire official said was a couple of thousand structures.
There are multiple injuries because of the Camp Fire, Cal Fire spokesman John Gaddie said.
Approximately 200 civilians were reported to be trapped by the fire that had grown to over 16,000 acres by 4pm.
The Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise evacuated all its patients and staff, given its close proximity to the fire, and transported them safely to hospitals in neighboring towns, Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman told the Associated Press. As of Thursday evening, it remained zero per cent contained.
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A combination of profoundly dry vegetation and heavy winds are contributing to the fire's explosive pattern. Fire officials said it could take days to figure out how many people died. Tens of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire Thursday 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. "The message I want to get out is if you can evacuate, you need to evacuate", Honea said.
"Had he not put out that fire, I would not have made it to the auto", she said. The Butte County Sheriff's Office has issued mandatory evacuation orders for most residents of Paradise and the smaller communities of Concow and Pulga. Around 30,000 customers are without power as a result of the fire. As of Thursday afternoon, evacuations were added for several counties as the Camp Fire continued to pick up speed in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Santa Rosa police said the department and Napa County's fire dispatch center have been inundated with calls about the smoke.
In addition to the Woolsey Fire, the Hill Fire was burning northwest of Thousand Oaks in the Santa Rosa Valley. She captured photos of low-hanging black smoke stretching for miles as she and her boyfriend evacuated Paradise.
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, Bernacett said. "It's been hopscotching the ridges", she said.
The challenging fire conditions are expected to continue Friday in Southern California where wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued and wind gusts could reach 70 miles per hour and relative humidity could be as low as 2 percent.