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09 November 2018, 05:55 | Darnell Patrick
Massive wind-fueled fire threatens NorCal town of Paradise
A smoke advisory has also been issued for the San Francisco area through Friday.
Flames from the unchecked, 8,100-hectare Camp Fire, which began early Thursday, were being driven westward by 56 km/h winds, fire officials said.
The fire forced the evacuation of patients from Paradise's main hospital to hospitals in Oroville and Chico.
Some of the first responders that rushed to the scene of the second mass shooting in less than two weeks in the USA were also helping out with fire-related duties. Those susceptible to elevated pollution levels were urged to take precautions to avoid exposure.
BFD spokesperson Keith May said BFD is sending one engine to assist the City of Oakland as its fire department responds to a fire on Highway 13, just south of Joaquin Miller Road. Some structures have already been destroyed, Cal Firereported. "God help us!" she said before breaking down crying. "I'm driving through fire as we speak".
Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California. "We tried to get all the nondigital things that we could - you know, stuff that couldn't be replaced", Peete said.
Kelly Lee called shelters looking for her husband's 93-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Herrera, who was last heard from on Thursday morning.
The fire was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area.
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A hospital and several schools were evacuated as thick grey smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away. "This was right before someone rammed our vehicle with theirs, trying to get through", Vaughn wrote on Facebook. "It's really dry and we have low humidity - and unfortunately those are great conditions for a fire to spread". "Those reports have not yet been verified", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference.
"It's very chaotic. It's a very bad fire", Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol said of the evacuation.
Residents took to social media to share their views of the flames almost consuming the hillside in Newbury Park, which borders Thousands Oaks to the west.
Farther south in the Los Angeles region, the Woolsey and Hill Fires were whipped up Thursday evening by powerful winds that pushed them through canyons and to the edge of Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands, both of which were evacuated, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Adventist Health Feather River hospital in town caught fire, as firefighters battled the flames, Lillis wrote. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state".
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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