Smoke From Butte County Wildfire Prompts Bay Area Air Quality Advisory

Sergio Conner
November 9, 2018

Fueled by intense winds and dry conditions, the "Camp Fire" which began in Butte County around 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning has already burned an estimated 5,000 acres with 0 percent containment, according to Cal Fire.

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

In Southern California, the Hill Fire broke out Thursday afternoon and grew to 8,000 to 10,000 acres while jumping a major highway.

Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean said Paradise is no longer standing.

Firefighter Adrien Mahnke pauses while battling the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. One of them was on fire, and some cars were driving through it, but she didn't want to chance it with the children in the vehicle, he said.

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out". Fire officials said some structures have been destroyed in addition to injuries.

Authorities were working to evacuate residents from their homes as strong winds swept seasonal wildfires across the state, consuming more than 26 miles of territory on Thursday alone.

"There was a big, giant wall of fire on the side of the vehicle", Kambourian said of his wife's evacuation.

A red flag warning is Cal Fire's most serious caution.

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One hospital and 3,300 students from 11 schools in Paradise were evacuated.

Rescuers used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out the way to reach Feather River Hospital and evacuate patients as flames engulfed the building, Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter told reporters.

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.

Local media reports have shown images of traffic moving away from the plumes of smoke and orange glow of the wildfire.

Clunies-Ross stayed behind to gather essentials not realizing how quickly danger was approaching, she says.

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", spokesman Bryce Bennett told the Bee.

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

"Most of them were immobile with walkers, or spouses that were bed-ridden, so we were trying to get additional units to come and try and help us, just taking as many as we could", he said, describing the community as having "a lot of elderly, a lot of immobile people, some low-income with no vehicles".

The challenging fire conditions are expected to continue Friday in Southern California where wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued and wind gusts could reach 70 miles per hour and relative humidity could be as low as 2 percent.

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