Evacuations ordered, structures destroyed as fast-moving "Camp Fire" grows in California

Butte County Sheriff's Office ordered evacuations for Pulga, South Pine Zone, Old Magalia Zone and South Coutelenc Zone as of 10 a.m. Shelters opened at Oroville Nazarene Church at 9 a.m. and Neighborhood Church in Chico.

An elementary school in the region was also forced to evacuate students after the fire came within half a mile of the campus, according to CNN.

The fire is centered in the Feather River Canyon off Highway 70 about five miles east of the town of Paradise which has a population of near 26,000 people. The company also said about 14,000 residents in Butte County and neighboring Plumas County were without power. The Associated Press said the Ventura County Fire Department had ordered evacuation of some communities in the path of the flames - not far from the site of a deadly mass shooting at a bar in the city of Thousand Oaks.

Thousands of residents are evacuating Northern California as an uncontained, fast-moving wildfire approaches several towns in the Sierra foothills.

The California Highway Patrol shut down Highway 99, a major north-south thoroughfare, advising people to avoid the area. "I'm driving through fire as we speak". "We're trying to get as many people out as quickly as possible and save as many lives as we can".

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out".

He says he wants people to know that if they can evacuate, they need to evacuate.

The Concow School sent its 60 students home shortly after the blaze, but many faculty members are anxious about their homes, said Golden Feather Union Elementary School District Superintendent Josh Peete.

A local fire official said there were multiple injuries among civilians and firefighters.

Officials were sending as many firefighters as they could, Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart said.

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

At the hospital with the stranded patients, some buildings caught fire and were damaged, but the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

More than 40 patients were evacuated to other facilities.

Yesterday, Cal Fire officials said that parts of Northern and Southern California was under a "red flag" warning for critical fire weather "due to gusty winds, dry fuels & low humidity". She said people left their vehicles and ran when they started hearing explosions.

The "Camp Fire" - as named by local officials - is expected to grow because of high winds and current dry conditions in the area.

Vanessa Coleman

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