Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

California fires: Malibu residents ordered to evacuate

California fires: Malibu residents ordered to evacuate

Chico Police Chief Mike O'Brien told CSU Chico officials "There is no immediate threat to the city of Chico right now".

Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean said Paradise is no longer standing. Television reports showed several homes on fire in the Oak Park community, while authorities shut down the 101 Freeway in both directions at Camarillo Springs Road.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office has confirmed at least five people were killed Thursday in the wildfire that nearly completely destroyed the town of Paradise.

By 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Paradise resident Tanah Clunies-Ross said she could not see her auto from her front door through the cloud of smoke. The town of about 27,000 people is 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

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Chico police officer John Barker and his partner evacuated several elderly people from an apartment complex. "We had to ride through flames to get here", he said from the side of a road west of Paradise. People posted photos on Twitter of missing seniors. A fire official said the plan was to create a fire break along a road to prevent the flames from overpowering the neighborhood.

Officials are describing a harrowing effort to rescue patients from a hospital in a Northern California town ravaged by wildfire. Her father, a lineman for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, was called in from another district to help shut down power, she said.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said the victims were found in the same area in Paradise, a town that has been destroyed by the flames. Some buildings caught fire and were damaged but the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

More than 40,000 people were ordered to evacuate on November 8 when a fire tore through Paradise, California, according to reports. By Thursday evening, the town was a scene of widespread destruction, hundreds of structures reduced to rubble. Witnesses reported seeing homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement home up in flames. Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency. Murphy says firefighters were able to stop the fire at the edge of the city, where evacuation orders remained in place.

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Flames from the unchecked, 20,000-acre (8,100-hectare) Camp Fire were being driven westward by 35-mile-per hour (56 km-per-hour) winds, fire officials said.

Only a day after it began, the fire near the town of Paradise had grown to almost 110 square miles, and investigators found five people dead in vehicles that were torched by the flames. While reports have come in of injuries among firefighters and residents, no deaths have been confirmed just yet. He said the fast-moving flames forced fire crews to shelter people at a Walgreens and other locations until flames passed through. Around 52,000 people have been forced to evacuate in Northern California, and more than 100,000 in Southern California.

California State University, Channel Islands, says the Thursday afternoon evacuation of the 7,000-student campus is due to poor air quality.

In Southern California, two fires burned near the town of Thousand Oaks with towering smoke clouds visible at the site of a mass shooting where a gunman killed more than a dozen people just hours earlier.

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