OROVILLE – Residents of Paradise and in Upper Butte Creek Canyon evacuated because of Camp Fire.
The fire started at 6:30 am today at Camp Creek Road near Pulga and swept west towards Paradise. It is 5,000 hectares with 0 percent containment, said Cal Fire public information officer Rick Carhart. The firefighters expect long-term winds up to 30-35 mph in the fire.
The fire was reported burning in the city on Skyway, as well as Pentz Road. Structures were reported to burn and, according to scanner traffic, two fuel offerings were flown to Chico. The information was sparse, but the witnesses and reporters on the ground described a chaotic scene as people tried to leave the city.
After staged evacuations began in the fire area near the West Branch feather river cannon early in the morning, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at 1
"It's bad," said Honea. "We try to get as many people as possible as quickly as possible and save as many lives as possible".
According to the Sheriff Office, Feather River Hospital, a boardinghouse and Ponderosa Elementary School all were evacuated. Hospital patients were sent to the Enloe Medical Center in Chico.
Butte College was closed shortly after 10.00. The headquarters will be closed for the rest of the day and evening as a precautionary measure due to evacuation.
"The main campus is not threatened", a press release from the college states.
Feather River Hospital 60 patients have been evacuated, and the building is closed, said Maureen Wisener, Public Information Manager. Some employees are protected at the hospital. She said she could see fire on both sides of Pentz Road.
Skyway was closed at Bruce Road up to Paradise so that all four lanes could be used for downhill traffic to evacuate to the valley. No traffic allowed to paradise.
City manager Lauren Gill said that everyone who feels they need to leave should leave. "The goal is to get so many people out of the city for sure and to save lives," she said.
Highway 70 has been shut off at Pentz Road.
According to Paul Moreno, PG & E, 4,400 customers without power in paradise, Pulga and Concow areas due to reduced power lines and PG & E turn off the power.
An evacuation guard was established at Oroville Nazarene Church, 2238 Monte Vista Ave. Neighborhood Church in Chico at 2801 Notre Dame Blvd.
Classes at Butte College are still on the Chico Center, Skyway Center and Glenn Center.
All students who took the bus to the main campus were asked to report to the bus to stop the area immediately. Bus service to paradise will not be available as all roads to the city are unavailable by the public. For students expelled in paradise, the college will provide bus services to the Oroville Nazarene Church, which has been set up as an evacuation center.
The college is now used as a place for firefighters. For more information, see butte.edu. All students and employees who lack work or class today will be excused.