Deaths feared as wildfire engulfs North California town

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"We were surrounded by fire". Malibu officials initially said the order issued early Friday applied to the entire city before reducing the order's scope.

It reached the edge of Chico, a city of 90,000 people Thursday night.

A home burns during the Camp fire in Paradise, California on November 08, 2018.

The winds calmed down in the valley, but they were still shifting and erratic, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour along ridge tops, he said.

The town's 27,000 residents were told to evacuate.

"The whole hill's on fire", she said while crying.

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed".

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"We're talking devastated", McLean said.

The Camp Fire, in Butte County, north of the state's capital, Sacramento, had burned through some 18,000 acres as of Thursday evening and was 0 percent contained as officials scrambled to evacuate area residents.

Honea said the county sent out automated warning calls to 23,862 households, using its Code Red system.

The fire has already triggered overnight evacuations of an estimated 75,000 homes in western Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County.

One blaze, dubbed the "Woolsey Fire", started in the Simi Valley and within 12 minutes had jumped across the 101 Freeway.

The Camp Fire has burned more than 5,000 acres and is still very active as it is wind driven.

According to Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Lillis, some 60 to 70 people were awaiting an emergency evacuation at a Walgreen's in Paradise.

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Firefighters battle the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday. At least two firefighters have been injured and multiple civilians injured, but number aren't available yet, Butte County Fire Battalion Chief Bill Reid said Thursday. People in some neighborhoods have been told to get out. "That's when I chose to get out".

Residents described fleeing their homes and then getting stuck on gridlocked roads as flames approached, sparking explosions and toppling utility poles.

"Things started exploding", said resident Gina Oviedo.

A truck driver went through a wall of fire in his vehicle to get away form raging wildfires that have swept California. As many as 1,000 structures were reportedly burned in town.

A destructive and fast-moving wildfire erupted in northern California on Thursday morning, spreading rapidly due to a mix of howling winds and extremely dry conditions. "They were going off like bombs", said Karen Auday, who escaped to a nearby town. Herrera, who lives in Paradise with her 88-year-old husband, Lou, left a frantic voicemail around 9:30 a.m. saying they needed to get out. People posted photos on Twitter of missing seniors.

"We hope the winds will die down around midnight", he said.

Morgan Mason said her father told her that he could hear propane tanks blowing up all over Paradise this morning.

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This article was originally published at 8:10 a.m. It threatened thousands of homes and prompted evacuations of a mobile home park, a state university campus and some neighbourhoods.

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