Rapid forest fires led to tens of thousands of evacuations in both northern and southern California, including 75,000 in and around Los Angeles, which sent residents flying for their lives at short notice.
The biggest inferno, launched on Thursday morning in northern California, led to many evacuations, including several entire cities. Butte County Sheriff Office announced to the Associated Press that a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the entire city of Paradise, home to about 27,000 people and located north of Sacramento.
"Pretty much the paradise's society is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation," said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean sent on Thursday. "The wind as predicted came and beat it out."
On a Thursday night news conference, Butte County Cal Fire Chief Darren Read said that hundreds of buildings, possibly as many as 1000 or more, were destroyed in paradise, but you will not have a more accurate number until they investigate the damage. Another 15,000 are threatened, according to CalFire.
"The whole city was on fire ", told the Paradise Council Scott Lotter, evacuated with his family, Sacramento Bee earlier Thursday. "19659011] (MORE: Why California Wildfires are so dangerous in the fall )
Officials confirmed to the AP that some residents who tried to escape from the fire in their vehicles had to fly on foot – some which holds pets and even children in their grip – as the flames approached. With few alternatives out of paradise, roads were quickly gridlocked, and abandoned cars left in the middle of the road only made problems worse.
"It's pure chaos here up "informed Ryan Lambert, information manager at the CHP Los Angeles Times.
The fuel of dry windy conditions spread Camp Fire quickly to more than 31 square kilometers within about 12 hours and forced the closure of several roads, according to Cal Fire. The fire is 0 percent and it is not yet known what drives it.
"Mother Nature is currently responsible," said Cal Fire spokesman Bryce Bennett to Sacramento Bee.
Others Cities evacuated include Centerville and Butte Creek, northwest of paradise. Evacuations were also ordered in the nearby villages Pulga and Concow.
"It's bad ", told Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea Chico Enterprise-Record. "We are trying to get as many people out as quickly as possible and save as many lives as possible".
In Concow, some residents, like Colton Percifield, were forced to drive through the flames and thick smoke just to survive.
"The hardest part was that there was no visibility … it was emphasis," he told Weather Channel in a phone call Thursday night. He also said that many of the homes in his neighborhood were destroyed by the fire, but he could surely fly.
Feather River Hospital, a guesthouse and Ponderosa Elementary School in paradise evacuated, Enterprise-Record also said, and Butte College was closed.
Patients in the feather hospital were rescued Thursday afternoon when the roof of the emergency room was in a hurry.
The rapid growth of the fire surprised many residents. Shary Bernacett said she and her husband "knocked on the doors, yelled and screamed" to warn so many residents of the caravan park as they managed in paradise just a few minutes before the fire arrived, she told AP.
"My husband tried his best to get everyone out. The whole litter is on fire. God helps us!" Bernacett, in tears, told AP.
Bernacetts managed to escape the fire with his dog, but had to drive through 12 foot high flames before coming to safety on Highway 99.
(MORE: The Science behind Santa Ana Winds )
At least 24,000 homes and businesses, or about half of all customers, remained without power Friday morning in Butte County, according to PowerOutage.us. Those who fled safely from the wilderness were asked to sign up on the Safe Red Cross to let friends and family know that they were successfully evacuated.
The executive governor Gavin Newsom has declared an emergency for Butte County, which will make more resources available to emergency responders.
Much of the golden state had been warned of extreme fire hazards due to the return of the Santa Ana winds, but in Butte County, months of dry weather combined with windy conditions created a Recipe for Disaster.
"We have basically not had rain since May or earlier," read AP. "Everything is a very susceptible fuel bed. It's a fast spread."
Southern California Fires Force Evacuations
Thursday afternoon, a few chest fires were launched in Ventura County, threatening homes and businesses in the Newbury Park area. The largest, named Hill Fire, exploded in size and burned at least 12.5 square kilometers in the first two hours, Cal Fire said. By Friday morning it had grown to 15 square million.
The fan came down the slopes and jumped on the 101 highway, which led to officials issuing mandatory evacuations for the Cal State University Channel Islands campus. Before the evacuations were commissioned for the Camarillo Springs area after the fire was made at about 2 pm local time, according to the LA Times.
The authorities closed off the 101 highway in both directions on Camarillo Springs Road.
Local news helicopters send visual structures burned by the fire since Thursday afternoon.
The fire Originally Thursday afternoon near the Santa Rosa Valley, about 10 miles northwest of the thousand Oaks.
The other fire burning in Ventura County, called Woolsey Fire, was run by the Woolsey Canyon and moved toward Oak Park, said fire detector.
Burned by dry conditions and strong Santa Ana winds, the flame has burned at least 12.5 square miles and contains 0 percent, reported the fire department in Ventura on Friday morning. About 75,000 homes are mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders in Ventura and Los Angeles County.
The fan moved to Los Angeles County late on Thursday, which led to new evacuation orders in Westlake Village, areas of Calabasas and Cheeseboro Canyon. "19659007]" It is important that residents pay attention to evacuation orders. This is a very dangerous wind-powered fire, "said the County Council in LA County in a tweet.
So far, the flame has injured or destroyed 20 homes and threatens another 30,000, the Los Angeles Times reports.
A home burns when Camp Fire breaks through Paradise, California, Thursday, November 8, 2018. (AP Photo / Noah Berger)