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Thousands Evacuated Due to Fast-Moving Wildfire in Butte County

09 November 2018

The fire forced the evacuation of patients from Paradise's main hospital to hospitals in Oroville and Chico.

The Woolsey blaze was also burning in parts of Los Angeles County.

As of Thursday afternoon, local time, the Camp Fire has burned through 8,000 acres of forest and is 0% contained, according to California Fire officials.

Fueled by winds, the fire rapidly spread and by 2 enveloped about 18,000 acres, officials said.

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

The blaze earlier ripped through Paradise, about 20 miles east of Chico.

"The town is devastated, everything is destroyed".

Officials were sending as many firefighters as they could, Cal Fire spokesperson Rick Carhart said.

The National Weather Service had predicted risky fire weather conditions in California because of Santa Ana winds, which roar in from the east and accelerate down California's north-to-south-oriented mountain slopes.

The Camp Fire was the fiercest of several wind-driven blazes that erupted across the state on Thursday.

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The two sides also held discussions on immediate market access for Pakistan's exports as well as the balance of payments support. A team of Pakistani officials was expected to arrive here on November 9 to finalise the details.

Maclean said an as yet unspecified number of civilians and firefighters had been injured, and that it could be days before authorities would know whether anyone had died.

With the town located on a ridge and limited escape routes, traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock.

As people fled in cars, some abandoned their vehicles, running from encroaching flames as they held babies and pets in their arms, said Gina Oviedo, who described a devastating scene as she evacuated the town of Paradise. One woman stuck in traffic went into labour the Enterprise-Record newspaper reported.

Four of the hospital's employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said.

Evacuations were ordered for the Butte towns of Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley, fire officials said.

A structure is seen engulfed in flames during the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 8, 2018.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 621,743 acres burned through Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, almost twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and almost triple the five-year average.

The National Weather Service out of Eureka warns that unsafe conditions conducive to "fast-spreading wildfires" will begin tonight in southeastern Humboldt, southern Trinity, northeastern Mendocino Counties.

The Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise evacuated all its patients and staff, given its close proximity to the fire, and transported them safely to hospitals in neighboring towns, said Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman. Wind gusts of 50 miles per hour were expected in many locations.

Thousands Evacuated Due to Fast-Moving Wildfire in Butte County