Berkeley Fire Department responding to fires in Oakland, Butte County

Massive wind-fueled fire threatens NorCal town of Paradise

The extent of people's injuries was not immediately known as officials could not access the unsafe area, 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Her family was among the 40,000 residents forced to evacuate in Butte County, California, after the fire broke out early Thursday, "growing uncontrollably" at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute.

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, Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman told the Associated Press.

A series of wildfires continued their tear through California on Friday, encroaching upon an area still reeling from a mass shooting that struck the community of Thousand Oaks just one day earlier. Those susceptible to elevated pollution levels were urged to take precautions to avoid exposure.

"When this fire started this morning wind speeds were 35 to 40 miles per hour gusts", Cal Fire spokesperson Lynne Tolmachoff said. "God help us!" she said before breaking down crying. "It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us".

Acting Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Butte County. "We tried to get all the nondigital things that we could - you know, stuff that couldn't be replaced", Peete said.

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On Thursday afternoon, California fire officials said 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. Her grandmother, who is in her 70s and lives alone, never showed up up at a meeting spot in Chico, though.

The wildfire was reported around daybreak.

Thick grey smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away.

"We're getting them on other vehicles with room. There's nothing much left standing", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) spokesperson Scott Maclean.

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", Bennett said.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea called it a "very risky and serious situation", AP reports, and noted that some residents have been forced to abandon their vehicles to escape the conflagration.

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Strong blustery winds are combining with dry conditions, after weeks without rain and low humidity at the height of the wildfire season in north California.

There are multiple injuries because of the Camp Fire, Cal Fire spokesman John Gaddie said.

Officials also issued an evacuation for part of Highway 70 nearby the fire and identified evacuation shelters to which people could flee.

"It's very chaotic. It's a very bad fire", Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol said of the evacuation.

A Red Flag Warning is in place through Friday morning in the Butte County area, and winds are expected to gust at speeds as high as 40 miles per hour overnight, according to the National Weathers Service.

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