Paradise California Wildfire Update: Camp Fire Blazes Traps People, Threatens Homes, Zero Containment, Latest News

The Camp Fire raging in California Thursday had been burning for only a few hours but was already causing widespread evacuations and significant damage in the area.  

More than 15,000 acres of land was burning as of noon Thursday, and the fire was zero percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Evacuation orders were issued for Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley and there were thousands without power in the area.

Butte County shared on Twitter that the Butte County Fairgrounds were open as an evacuation center Thursday but the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds were not. The Neighborhood Church in Chico and the Oroville Nazarene Church on Monte Vista Ave in Oroville were evacuation centers. An emergency volunteer center, where anyone could offer assistance, was opening at Caring Choices on Ridgewood in Chico.

Animals that were evacuated and needed a place to go were welcome at the Old County Hospital on Del Oro Avenue the county tweeted. Larger animals could be taken to the Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley; people who couldn’t bring their larger animals were advised to leave the animals along with food in open pastures.

Some people were having a hard time getting out of the evacuation zones to shelters. Traffic was backed up, and people were getting out of their vehicles and walking, some with pets and children.

Authorities urged civilians to call Cal Fire with questions about the situation and to only dial 911 in an emergency situation. Those who needed help evacuating could call 911. As lines were inundated with calls, authorities urged callers to use 911 only in emergency situations.

Information about the fire and evacuations was available from Cal Fire as well as on the county Facebook account. 

The fire spread so rapidly that some people were trapped before they could evacuate. At the Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, the patients and staff were evacuated, but four employees were trapped in the basement; they were rescued by the California Highway Patrol, according to a reporter with CBS Sacramento.

To make evacuations easier, the Butte County Sheriff shared that the highway patrol had stopped northbound traffic on Highway 99 and all traffic ran South from Highway 99 Skyway south until Highway 149.

Not only was the fire spreading rapidly, but the conditions causing it to spread were also expected to continue through Friday. Red flag alerts were issues due to the dry and windy conditions in the area.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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