Drift Smoke from Butte County Fire Enters Contra Costa County

Wildfire Near Chico Grows To 5,000 Acres; Evacuations Ordered

Massive wind-fueled fire threatens NorCal town of Paradise

Acting Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Butte County.

Pacific Gas & Electric, the state's largest utility, announced Tuesday it might preemptively cut power to eight California counties starting Thursday morning to prevent a possible wildfire, including Butte County where the Camp Fire is located.

At the hospital with the stranded patients, some buildings caught fire and were damaged, but the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.

Evacuated hospital patients are being taken to hospitals throughout the region.

"This fire is very unsafe, please evacuate if asked to do so!" the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) tweeted.

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Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says a fire in Northern California is a "very unsafe and serious situation".

The Concow School sent its 60 students home shortly after the blaze, but many faculty members are anxious about their homes, said Golden Feather Union Elementary School District Superintendent Josh Peete. "I'm driving through fire as we speak".

He says the agency is spread thin on resources but officials are "doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas". "We had to ride through flames to get here", he said from the side of a road west of Paradise.

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out".

"Every engine that we could put on the fire, is on the fire right now and more are coming", he said. The fire has already consumed more than 8,000 acres. The smoke was so thick it appeared she was driving at night.

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Allana Hall captured photos of low-hanging black smoke stretching for miles as she and her boyfriend evacuated Paradise.

"When this fire started this morning wind speeds were 35 to 40 miles per hour gusts", Cal Fire spokesperson Lynne Tolmachoff said.

"The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds", Carhart said. "I'm moving to Mammoth (Lake) the end of this month so we may head there early".

"It started in Pulga, came across to Concow and down into Paradise".

"They need time to prepare", she said. Multiple roads in the area are closed as a result of the blaze. From the Costco parking lot in Paradise, light from the flames lit up the morning horizon. "Those reports have not yet been verified", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference.

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Yesterday, Cal Fire officials said that parts of Northern and Southern California was under a "red flag" warning for critical fire weather "due to gusty winds, dry fuels & low humidity". Gusts have reached speeds of 65 miles per hour.

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