Southern California wildfire threatens 30,000 homes, forces evacuations

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

California Highway Patrol announced Thursday afternoon it had closed several roads in the area, including Skyway Road, which is the northerly passage out of town, and Highway 70 to the south of the fire. Colton Percifield captured the video while driving on Windermere Lane on November 8. He said approximately 40,000 residents in Butte County have been evacuated due to the Camp Fire.

As winds approached 50 mph (80 km/h), causing the fire to grow rapidly in just a few hours, some residents were forced to abandon vehicles and escape on foot, local media reported.

California wildfires are burning again, with the Camp Fire near Chico the latest large fire to erupt in Northern California.

Dramatic footage shows flames closing in around the highways out of town and thick smoke hanging in the sky, obscuring the horizon.

A vintage vehicle rests among debris as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise.

"'We're working very hard to get people out".

A combination of profoundly dry vegetation and heavy winds are contributing to the fire's explosive pattern.

The previous record had been set less than a year before in another catastrophic fire that burned through more than 280,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

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An evacuation warning was issued for parts of Chico Thursday night as the Camp Fire blazed toward the city of 90,000 people.

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean as quoted by The Associated Press.

The Woolsey Fire, which began overnight, covered more than 3,000 hectares Friday morning and was threatening 75,000 homes, the Ventura County Fire Department said on Twitter, adding there had been no reports of fatalities or severe injuries.

Neighbourhoods, schools and hospitals have been evacuated while some residents in the town of Paradise were trapped by the flames, officials say.

Colton Percifield, 20, said in an interview that he awoke at friend's house in Concow to find smoke outside around 7 a.m. Spot fires soon encroached on the house. "The message I want to get out is if you can evacuate, you need to evacuate", Honea said.

Separate wildfires were ripping through northern and southern California Friday, forcing tens of thousands from their homes and prompting officials to declare a state of emergency.

Tanah Clunies-Ross woke up in the dark to what sounded like lumps of coal raining down her Northern California home.

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, said Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman.

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