A destructive and fast-moving wildfire erupted in Northern California on Thursday morning, spreading rapidly due to a mix
The Camp Fire, in Butte County, north of the state's capital, Sacramento, has been burned through some 18,000 acres as of Thursday evening and what zero percent contained as officials scrambled to evacuate area residents.
Social media was flooded with apocalyptic imagery of smoke-filled skies and horizon lines of neon orange. Others took to Twitter to receive messages about missing family members. The town of Paradise, Calif., Population 27,000, has been evacuated, officials said they were the nearby communities of Pulga and Concow.
Colton Percifield, 20, said he was interviewed at the end of his speech outside around 7 am [Http://www.spectrum.com]
"Within half an hour the whole place was in flames," he said. By 8:20 am, the house was burning.
Percifield left in his pickup truck for an emergency meeting in a field outside town, finding himself on an empty road with the fire swirling inferno on both sides of the road him. A video he took captures the hellacious conditions he described; Thick smoke and heat surrounding the truck as the temperature rose inside, while giant clouds and licks the roof over his head in a pitch-black darkness.
Percifield said that he drove off the road a few times in the low-visibility conditions, but eventually made it to a meadow that is maintained for Residents to gather in the event of fires. According to Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Lillis, some 60 to 70 people were awaiting an emergency evacuation at a Walgreen's in Paradise.
Fire crews asked them to come out, " he reported .
Evacuation routes were clogged with people attempting to flee the growing blaze, the Sacramento Bee reported escape.
"My mother is trapped with other drivers on Pearson Rd at Paradise with houses burning nearby," tweeted @jdpiersoniv .
The National Weather Service had California's north-to-south-oriented california forecast mountain slopes.
Red flag warnings for "critical fire weather conditions" were in effect not only for the Sacramento Valley but also through Central and Southern California.
The gusts are blowing down the mountain slopes.
There were 23.4 million Californians under red flag warnings. Thursday into early Friday, which should ease and give breathing conditions for battling the blaze.
California has experienced debilitating fires of unprecedented regularity in the past few years. In August, the Mendocino Complex Fire became the largest wildfire ever recorded in the state, eventually burning over 400,000 acres. The previous record had been set to last a year in another catastrophic fire that burned through more than 280,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. In October 2017, some 21 wildfires burned nearly 95,000 acres and 7,000 buildings in Sonoma and Napa counties in the heart of California's wine country, killing 40 people.