‘Ominous’ Piece of Burnt Paper Falls From Sky Amid Fast-Moving California Fire

Drift Smoke from Butte County Fire Enters Contra Costa County

Drift Smoke from Butte County Fire Enters Contra Costa County

"I'm driving through fire as we speak".

Residents of Concow were asked to evacuate as the Camp Fire that erupted yesterday morning, but some residents were said to have not been aboe to escape their homes. Paradise is 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

A raging wildfire in Northern California has forced the 27,000 residents of the city of Paradise to flee.

About two-thirds of the city of Malibu was ordered evacuated early Friday as a ferocious Southern California's wildfire roared toward the beachside community that is home for many Hollywood celebrities. The Associated Press reports that it sent residents racing to escape on roads that turned into tunnels of fire as thick smoke blanketed the daytime sky with darkness.

Officials said that they had heard reports of fatalities but that they could not yet access the affected areas to confirm those reports.

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The town of Chico, population 93,000, could be next in the path of the wildfire, as flames were driven westward by 35-mile-per hour (56 km-per-hour) winds, said Butte County Fire Chief Darren Read.

Honea says resources are spread thin, but officials are "doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas". "We tried to get all the nondigital things that we could - you know, stuff that couldn't be replaced", Peete said.

Percifield said that he drove off the road a few times in the low visibility conditions but eventually made it to a meadow that is maintained for residents to gather in the event of fires. "People started getting out of their vehicles and running".

People were forced to abandon their cars and run, carrying their children and possessions, and those who had fled reported seeing houses explode as they were engulfed in flames. "And just praying for a miracle, honestly", said Curtis, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. "They were abandoned because traffic was so bad, backed up for hours".

The Camp Fire began early Thursday in Paradise, about 90 miles north of Sacramento, burning 20,000 acres and threatening 15,000 structures as it moved west toward Chico Thursday night, according to Cal Fire officials. But at nearly every intersection, she said, there was an informed official directing traffic and reassuring those in the evacuation gridlock they would be safe. Hospital patients were transferred to Oroville Hospital and Enloe Medical Center.

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"It's very chaotic", said Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol. People posted photos on Twitter of missing seniors.

The Camp Fire started around 6:30 a.m. Thursday near Pulga Road at Camp Creek Road near Jarbo Gap.

Still, other Paradise residents were critical - not of the traffic jams that ensued, but of what they said was a lack of warning to get out in the first place.

"We immediately went into action", she said. "They do have a vehicle, but they both are older and can be confused at times".

Officials said strong winds are making it hard for air tankers to extinguish the flames.

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