157,000 People Evacuated As Fires Burn in Northern, Southern California

California Fires Update: Chico Camp Fire in Butte County

Thousands evacuated over fast-moving California wildfire

In just 24 hours, the disastrous Camp Fire in Northern California has burned at the rate of nearly an acre per second and scorched an area more than twice the size of San Francisco.

"It's got all the right conditions to have grown very large, very quickly", said Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart.

No injuries have been reported in either fire.

"This is the type of situation where, if a fire starts, it can spread rapidly", May said.

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

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said all available officers in the area are mobilizing to conduct home-checks.

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One of the worst-affected areas is the northern town of Paradise, California, where 18,000 acres were destroyed by the fire in just seven hours on Thursday, writes Newsweek.

At least 75,000 homes in Ventura and Los Angeles counties are under evacuation orders, and some structures have already been destroyed, officials said. Paradise is popular with retirees, and has a population of about 27,000.

'The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds, ' Carhart said.

"There was really no firefight involved", said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people get out alive. A video he took captures the hellacious conditions he described; thick smoke and heat surrounding the truck as the temperature rose inside, while giant sparks and flames licked the roof over his head in almost pitch-black darkness.

Flames consume a auto dealership as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday.

Butte County supervisor Doug Teeter said authorities used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out the way to reach Feather River Hospital and evacuate patients as flames engulfed its old wing and the roof of the emergency department.

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Videos of the area posted on social media showed cars driving along what appeared to be a tunnel of flame, while others depicted untouched lawns or buildings set against a backdrop of deep orange, the fire racing towards people's homes.

Mandatory evacuations are in placed for various parts of Los Angeles County as the fire spreads towards the Santa Monica Mountains.

One blaze, dubbed the "Woolsey Fire", started in the Simi Valley and within 12 minutes had jumped across the 101 Freeway.

May said the low humidity and the dryness of trees and brush are among the reasons for the Camp Fire and also pose a potential danger in Berkeley.

The fire is being driven west by 35 miles per hour (56 kmh) winds, fire officials said.

Google Maps continues to update its 2018 California fire map on the various blazes, as well as a Google Crisis Map with information about specific California wildfires including the Camp Fire.

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