Chico Camp Fire in Butte County

Evacuations Ordered in Butte County California as the Camp Fire Expands

He estimated that a couple of thousand structures, including offices, large stores and restaurants in the 27,000 population town were flattened by the fire, although exact numbers are not known.

Meanwhile, far to the south, outside Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire, which started Thursday afternoon, has engulfed at least 7,500 acres and forced 30,000 people to flee.

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean late tonight.

A vintage auto rests among debris as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise. One of them was on fire, and some cars were driving through it, but she didn't want to chance it with the children in the auto, he said.

'My husband tried his best to get everybody out.

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.

Separate wildfires were ripping through northern and southern California Friday, forcing tens of thousands from their homes and prompting officials to declare a state of emergency.

The Adventist Health Feather River hospital in town caught fire, as firefighters battled the flames, Lillis wrote.

A combination of profoundly dry vegetation and heavy winds are contributing to the fire's explosive pattern.

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

Evacuations were also directed for all of Paradise, which is home to almost 27,000 residents, and nearby Pulga due to the Camp Fire, according to news reports.

With limited escape routes from the town, which is built on a ridge, traffic accidents turned roads into gridlock, with residents forced to abandon vehicles and run from the flames carrying children and pets, officials said.

Officials issued a "red flag" warning for the area because winds had reached between 20 and 40 miles-per-hour.

TV personality Adrienne Janic said on Twitter that firefighters were using her home as a command centre.

This photo taken from video provided by CBS2/KCAL9 shows a wildfire burning in Camarillo.

'Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming, ' he said. She said she did not know the exact number of people evacuated.

Driven by strong winds and dry conditions, the blaze dubbed the Camp Fire swept through the town of Paradise, burning part of the local hospital and possibly destroying over a thousand homes and other structures, county and city officials said.

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

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