Hundreds Missing and Structures Destroyed as Camp Fire Rages to 20,000 Acres

Update 8:30 pm:

The worst fears of the fast-moving Camp Fire in Butte County have been realized, as up to 1,000 homes have burned in Paradise and reports of multiple fatalities have been confirmed by the Butte County Sheriff’s Department.




Cal Fire said that the fire sits at 20,000 acres with zero containment as evacuations continue to move down the hill towards Chico. Nearby residents are advised to be prepared to evacuate at any moment.

Many homes and businesses were burned in the flames, with photos emerging online showing the sheer carnage the fire left in its wake. Feather River Hospital was completely evacuated before it burned.

Currently, about 50,000 people have evacuated their homes (evacuation orders below). It is not yet determined exactly how many structures have been burned but we can only assume the flames will continue well into the night, with the wind advisory not expected to let up until Friday evening. A “Firenado” was spotted in the area, a terrifying sight for anyone who remembers the Carr Fire in July.




Cal Fire-Butte County Chief Darren Read said the city of Chico is threatened because winds are blowing toward Chico and will continue to do so overnight.

See below for all of our updates throughout the day.




Update 5:00 pm:

Twitter/@ryansabalow

With the Camp Fire growing to 20,000 acres in under 12 hours, it is moving at an incredible pace of 80 football fields per minute. And as the chaos continues in the Butte County communities near Paradise, friends and family are desperately searching for their loved ones in the line of fire.




With cell phone reception out since this morning, it has been nearly impossible to stay in contact with people in Camp Fire vicinity, forcing friends and family to search for them online. Up to 450 people are reported missing. Posts to social media were hoping to locate missing people:




While official reports are still sparse in the area, it seems like there are many structures burned including homes, businesses and even a hospital:




Update 1:30 pm:

Cal Fire has confirmed that the Camp Fire, which is swiftly moving through Butte County, has grown to 17,000 acres in just 7 hours. Although official reports from the fire have been sparse due to its fast-moving nature, residents in the area have taken to social media to tell the terrifying stories surrounding the fire.




The fire has exploded through the community of Paradise, with buildings burning, including the Feather River Hospital. Online videos have shown homes and cars on fire throughout the area.

In a scary turn of events, evacuations are moving quickly down the hill to Forest Avenue in Chico, which sits on the east edge of town and includes many heavily populated areas. These evacuations seem to be strictly precautionary at the time, but should alert any nearby residents to be prepared to evacuate at any moment.




Cell phone service has been cut in the area, making it nearly impossible to contact friends and loved ones in the Paradise area. Many people are having trouble locating their loved ones, making it very difficult for rescue officials to determine how dangerous these missing persons reports truly are. Then there are people like the man pictured below, that was walking into the area into in search of his wife and daughter:

Crews from all over the state are on the way to the area to assist with the fire. Injuries and structures have been destroyed, but those numbers are not currently available. Although a fatality had been reported earlier, that has not been confirmed by officials.

Mandatory evacuations include: The Town of Pulga, Zones 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13 and 14, South Pines Zone, Old Magalia Zone, South Coutolenc Zone, Carnegie Colter Zone, North Pines Zone, North Firhaven Zone, South Firhaven Zone, Centerville, Butte Creek, the area of Pentz Road and Highway 70 south to Highway 149 including Butte College and the area of Highway 70 from Concow south including Yankee Hill on both sides of Highway 70.

Evacuation warnings include: Lower Neal Zone, Upper Honey Run Zone, Lower Clark Zone, Lower Skyway Zone, Nimshew Zone and Zones 11 and 12.

Keep reading for more information including evacuation info and video/photos of the Camp Fire.




Update 11:00 am:

Reports now say that the fast-moving Camp Fire has grown to over 10,000 acres in just over 4 hours, while residence in the area continuing to flee the dangerous flames. A fire analyst estimated the size of the fire from Google Earth reports:




Due to the fast-moving nature of the fire, it has been nearly impossible to find concrete numbers of the destruction the fire has left in its wake. Videos have emerged on social media showing structures burning and people surrounded by flames.




The Feather River Hospital has reportedly burned, with medical workers scrambling to evacuate people in the hospital. An air ambulance was called for a woman stuck in traffic in a ambulance while in labor.




Meanwhile, a plume of smoke is hovering over NorCal, causing visibility issues and poor air quality in neighboring communities, reaching all the way to Sacramento.

As of now, the wind continues to move at an incredible rate, but is currently moving south, away from the heavily populated areas of Chico. 14,000 people have lost power due to the fire. Here are all of the evacuation zones:

EVACUATION ORDERS: All of Paradise is under mandatory evacuation except for Lower Clark Road, Lower Neil Road and Lower Skyway Road.

Carnegie Zone

North Pines Zone

North Fire Haven Zone

South Fire Haven Zone

South Pine Zone

Old Magalia Zone

South Coutelenc Zone

Centerville and Butte Creek areas

EVACUATION WARNINGS: 

Lower Neal and Upper Honey Run zones

EVACUATION SHELTERS: 

Oroville Nazarene Church located at 2238 Monte Vista Ave., Oroville.

Neighborhood Church in Chico

For animals:

Small animal shelter set up at 2279 Del Oro Avenue, Oroville.

Large animal shelter set up at Camelot located at 1985 Clark Road, Oroville.




Update 9:45 am:

With winds up to 50 mph, the Camp Fire continues to move quickly as the Feather River Hospital is being completely evacuated and the people of the town of Paradise flee the flames. In just under 3 hours, the scanner shows the fire has grown to 5,000 acres.

Reports of people trapped in the Feather River Hospital were reported on the scanner as emergency officials scramble to get people out of the area. The scanner is reporting that fatalities are possible.




People are reportedly abandoning their cars along the road as the fire has jumped the Skyway near Magalia.

A plume of smoke hovers over Chico as ash is raining from the sky and droves of cars are moving down the Skyway and away from the flames. There have been reports of at least one structure burning, vehicles being trapped by the flames and blackout conditions in some areas. All zones in Paradise are under evacuation.




The KMart and Taco Bell in Paradise are reportedly burning.

We will continue to update the situation as information is made available.




Update: 9:00 am

The Camp Fire erupted in Butte County early Thursday morning and quickly grew to 1,000 acres, now forcing mandatory evacuations in the Feather River Canyon and well as the entire town of Paradise. As it moves from the canyon and into populated areas, the fire is approaching the Feather River Hospital and anyone on Pentz road is under mandatory evacuation orders.




The fire was first reported around 6:30 a.m. and was first reported in the Camp Creek Road area near Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon. The fire comes under current Red Flag Warning conditions, designated by the National Weather Service when high winds and dry fuels create dangerous fire conditions.




We will continue to update this article as information is made available. Here are some of the top posts from social media regarding the Camp Fire:

 

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