At least 63 killed and more than 600 missing after California wildfire
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Infernal wildfire visible from space sends California residents fleeing (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
09 November 2018, 09:00 | Devin Moran
Camp Fire Smoke Smoke from the Camp Fire
The town of Chico, population 93,000, was potentially threatened as 35-mile-per hour (56 kph) winds drove the blaze westward, he added.
At least one nursing home and hospital were evacuated and several homes were on fire, according to the Sacramento Bee, and the region is covered with thick, dark smoke.
A fast-moving wildfire roared through a Northern California town on Thursday, with reports of fatalities as it engulfed dozens of buildings and tens of thousands of people fled the flames, police and state authorities said. Emergency crews were working to help people evacuate there, he said.
Shari Bernacett said she and her husband tried to get people to leave the mobile home park they manage in Paradise and had minutes to evacuate.
An evacuation warning was issued for parts of Chico Thursday night as the Camp Fire blazed toward the city of 90,000 people.
"The whole hill's on fire", she said while crying.
Others described watching flames consume their property as they evacuated.
Medical personnel evacuate patients as the Feather River Hospital burns while the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., today.
On Thursday afternoon, California fire officials say the fire had expanded to about 18,000 acres, but its true size is hard to pinpoint because of heavy smoke, which can be seen from miles away.
Terrifying videos posted on social media showed cars driving along roads that looked like tunnels of fire with flames on both sides of the road.
Groups of fleeing residents gathered in a Kmart parking lot in Paradise, with their dogs and some with horses, waiting to be evacuated, said Shelley Freeman who spoke to a relative and friends in Paradise.
Some of the hospital's 'outbuildings, ' such as out-patient clinics caught fire and were damaged but the main hospital was not, said Kinney.
'Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming, ' he said.
"It's very chaotic. It's a very bad fire", Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol said of the evacuation.
The Camp Fire, which started early on Thursday near Camp Creek, has been fuelled by strong winds and dry forest.
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