Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Thousands Evacuated Due to Fast-Moving Wildfire in Butte County

FIRE PIC 1 CAL FIRE BUTTEcredit Cal Fire Butte County FIRE PIC 1 CAL FIRE BUTTEcredit Cal Fire Butte County
Deanna Wagner | 09 November, 2018, 06:54

Pacific Gas and Electric Company said about 14,000 residents of Butte and Plumas counties were without power due to fire activity and requests from firefighters to cut electricity in certain areas for safety, Sacramento Bee reported. A nearby blaze was smaller at less than 1,000 acres (1.5 square miles) but moving quickly.

Groups of fleeing residents gathered in a Kmart parking lot in Paradise, with their dogs and some with horses, waiting to be evacuated, said Shelley Freeman who spoke to a relative and friends in Paradise.

En route to her sister's house in Chico, she told CNN she didn't have high hopes that her home survived: "It's probably gone already".

Shari Bernacett said she and her husband tried to get people to leave the mobile home park they manage in Paradise and had minutes to evacuate as flames reached the east side of the town.

Video footage taken by ABC Redding affiliate KRCR showed the hospital surrounded by thick smoke as the fire illuminated the darkened sky in the background. "And just praying for a miracle, honestly", said Curtis, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Google's 2018 Statewide Fire Map for California lists all the active fires in the state for which California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is responding.

The sheriff confirmed reports that evacuees had to abandon their vehicles. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state". He said rescuers were trying to put them in other vehicles. It's very surreal. Things always work out, but the unknown is a little scary. Within six hours, it had grown to more than 69 square kilometres, Gaddie said.

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CNN responded in a tweet , defending Acosta and saying, "This President's ongoing attacks on the free press have gone too far". We are all on the same team. "Now that the official Press Secretary is putting out videos that are doctored and deceitful".

Smoke from the wind-driven fire, which started Thursday morning, can be seen from as far away as 150 miles.

Weather forecasts showed numerous red flag warnings and wind alerts in the area Thursday into Friday.

"Basically, we haven't had rain since last May or before that", said Read, the fire chief. "It's a rapid rate of spread".

Some of the hospital's 'outbuildings, ' such as out-patient clinics caught fire and were damaged but the main hospital was not, said Kinney. She said she did not know the exact number of people evacuated. "All patients are being transported to surrounding area hospitals", a statement said.

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

Driven by high winds and dry conditions, the blaze dubbed the Camp Fire swept through the town of Paradise, with social media reports that a hospital, high school and K-Mart store were on fire.