Officials order evacuations as Camp Fire threatens Northern California

FIRE PIC 1 CAL FIRE BUTTEcredit Cal Fire Butte County

Officials at the Butte County Sheriff's office and Cal Fire, the state agency responsible for fighting wildfires, ordered evacuations throughout the morning for rural communities in the path of the wildfire, including Paradise, California, which is home to more than 26,000 people.

"The whole hill's on fire", she said while crying. "I'm driving through fire as we speak".

The fire also forced the evacuation of every school in Paradise, as well as a school in Concow to the east, school officials said.

"This is the type of situation where, if a fire starts, it can spread rapidly", May said. But the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

The patients were taken to Oroville Hospital and Enloe Medical Center, the statement said.

Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that two firefighters and multiple residents were injured. "We're doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas". En route to her sister's house in Chico, she told CNN she didn't have high hopes that her home survived. She said she did not know the exact number of people evacuated.

Some of the patients were initially turned around during their evacuation because of gridlocked traffic and later airlifted to other hospitals, along with staff, Kinney said.

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"Hundreds of fire crews are on the scene", Lynne Tolmachoff, a Cal Fire spokesperson, told the PBS NewsHour.

Paradise is located about 85 miles north of Sacramento, just west of the Plumas National Forest.

The Butte County Sheriff's office says an evacuation order was issued Thursday for areas of Paradise, a town of about 27,000 people 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

On social media, many have been sharing images of highways and roads flanked by fire or covered in heavy smoke and asking for help to evacuate friends and family.

Mandatory evacuations are underway in Northern California as the Camp Fire continues to blaze through at least 18,000 acres.

Aside from the winds, low relative humidity in the area was making firefighters' jobs harder, and the area was under a red flag warning Thursday.

Bernacett said she and her husband "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as numerous residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible to leave the area Thursday morning as authorities ordered the area evacuated.

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