Driving through Paradise, California as the Camp Fire rages on

Thousands evacuated over fast-moving California wildfire

Drift Smoke from Butte County Fire Enters Contra Costa County

Winds are expected to die down Friday morning and firefighters said that should help for now, but they are expected to pick back up again on Sunday.

The fire near the Northern California town of Paradise has grown to almost 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).

Rescuers used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out of the way in order to reach a hospital and evacuate patients as the fire engulfed the building, Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter said. "These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday".

Evacuations were also directed for all of Paradise, which is home to almost 27,000 residents and was described as "pretty much destroyed", nearby Pulga. People reported seeing much of the community go up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement center.

"We had to drive through flames to make it out safely", she said.

A wildfire in Northern California's Sierra Nevada foothills quadrupled in size late Thursday as winds threaten to make it spread faster.

Fire officials issued a mandatory evacuation notice for homes east of Chico, a city of about 93,000 people situated about 145km north of Sacramento.

Wind in the valley calmed down, but they were still shifting and erratic along the ridgetops, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kph), he said.

On social media, many have been sharing images of highways and roads flanked by fire or covered in heavy smoke and asking for help to evacuate friends and family.

He estimated that a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco. "It's that kind of devastation", he said.

California's new wildfire is growing in intensity, forcing evacuations and devastating homes.

A recent video that surfaced on social media shows the unsafe living and driving conditions that many evacuees are facing due to wildfires in the area of Feather River Canyon near Paradise, California.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the fire raging through the Santa Monica Mountains was headed to the ocean.

Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Dave Richardson says 45,000 people in Ventura County and 43,000 more in Los Angeles County were ordered to evacuate overnight.

The combination of parched vegetation and high winds led the fire to grow rapidly.

A Cal Fire helicopter picks up water from a reservoir while battling the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 8, 2018.

By last night it had scorched up to 7,000 acres.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said all available officers in the area are mobilizing to conduct home-checks. "Every day we have the potential for these large, damaging, destructive and deadly wildland fires. we need the public to continue to listen to the message".

"Things started exploding", Oviedo said. There were reports of people abandoning their vehicles trapped in heavy traffic, clutching children and running for safety under blackened skies.

Many abandoned their cars on the side of the road, fleeing on foot.

Flames consumed a Kentucky Fried Chicken as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise, Calif., Thursday.

"It's a worst-case scenario", Bass said. "Multiple cars, vehicles left in the roadway burned out".

Bass is an officer in the nearby town of Chico. He described the community as having a lot of elderly residents, some with no vehicles.

A nurse called Rita Miller at about 7 a.m. Thursday, telling her she had to get her disabled mother, who lives a few blocks away, and flee Paradise immediately.

Shari Bernacett said her husband tried to get people to leave the Paradise mobile home park they manage.

This photo taken from video provided by CBS2/KCAL9 shows a wildfire burning in Camarillo, Calif., Thursday afternoon, November 8, 2018. The Hill Fire caused an evacuation of Cal State University-Channel Islands and about 1,000 homes.

Morgan Mason said her father told her that he could hear propane tanks blowing up all over Paradise this morning.

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