PG&E Stock Falls as California Wildfire Quadruples in Size

The Camp Fire scorched 5,000 acres in about three hours officials say

While reports have come in of injuries among firefighters and residents, no deaths have been confirmed just yet.

McLean estimated that several thousand buildings were lost in Paradise, about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

"The town is devastated, everything is destroyed".

"Things started exploding", said resident Gina Oviedo. "As it burned, it was able to get into an area where winds started to push it, and pushed it towards the Paradise area through a community called Concow, and jumped a canyon". An Associated Press photographer found businesses and homes leveled or in flames, including a liquor store and gas station.

Earlier, at 8 p.m., the Butte County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation orders for the area on both sides of Oro Chico Highway from Durham Dayton north to Estates Drive. "I'm driving through fire as we speak".

East of Chico on Picholine Way, a line of cars crowded roads as people evacuated from that area around 9 p.m.

Thousands of people have been forced out of their homes in Ventura County, about 30 miles from Malibu. Palmer hauled her into the vehicle and Jacobs, because Palmer can not see well, navigated her rescuer through the bank of smoke and burning trees.

California is experiencing one of its worst fire years ever, with 621,743 acres (251,610 hectares) burned through Sunday in areas covered by Cal Fire, almost twice the amount during the same period of 2017 and almost triple the five-year average.

She said she realized Paradise was on fire and her mobile home park was threatened when she saw the smoke and flames.

"My husband tried his best to get everybody out".

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, said she saw a "very ominous" outside her house.

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Bonnie Flores said she was "just numb".

These are firestorms - towering, fast-moving walls of flames hundreds of feet high - the kind of fires that are not only uncontrolled by firefighters, but uncontrollable. People posted photos on Twitter of missing seniors. Her grandmother, who is in her 70s and lives alone, never showed up up at a meeting spot in Chico, though.

Many people took to social media to register their distress.

"I don't know what we left", Jim Brand said.

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", spokesman Bryce Bennett told the Bee. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state". Honea said they could not immediately be identified because they were burned so badly.

"What pisses me off is I don't think they told everybody soon enough", said Kim Benn, 49, a neighbor who realized she needed to flee the fire when another resident pounded on her door.

The wildfire was reported around daybreak. That fire grew more than 20-fold in about six hours just before it overtook the town of Paradise, home to about 27,000 people. Large swathes of land elsewhere in the state now remain under a Red Flag warning, which Cal Fire says is "issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours". "It's a rapid rate of spread".

Driven by strong winds and dry conditions, the blaze dubbed the Camp Fire roared through the town of Paradise, about 85 miles (240 km) north of Sacramento, forcing the population to flee in a chaotic mass evacuation.

Authorities were working on a plan to remove patients from a hospital after rescuers had to turn back because of gridlocked traffic.

Four hospital employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said.

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