Drift Smoke from Butte County Fire Enters Contra Costa County

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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.

At least 27,000 people in Paradise were ordered to flee.

Officials are describing a harrowing effort to rescue patients from a burning hospital in a Northern California town ravaged by wildfire. "We're doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas". The company also said about 14,000 residents in Butte County and neighboring Plumas County were without power.

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McClean said the fire is burning toward the city of Chico but he's "not necessarily" concerned the fire will breach the city limits.

The Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise evacuated staff and 41 patients to other hospitals, given its close proximity to the fire, said Jill Kinney, an Adventist Health spokeswoman. "That's when I chose to get out".

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Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California.

Freeman says she's scared for everyone and feels helpless from far away. "All patients are being transported to surrounding area hospitals", a statement said.

Shari Bernacett said her husband tried to get people to leave the Paradise mobile home park they manage and had minutes to evacuate.

She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through 12-foot high flames before getting to safety on Highway 99.

Even before fire season began in early 2018, record-setting fires engulfed huge swaths of the Golden State, claiming the lives of numerous firefighters and civilians trying to flee the flames. Within roughly six hours, the fire had grown to more than 26 square miles (69 square kilometers), said Gaddie.

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Fire officials said the flames were being fueled by winds, low humidity, dry air and severely parched brush and ground from months without rain.

Five people were burned in Paradise, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Cal Fire said Wednesday that a Red Flag Warning was issued for most of Northern California's interior as well as parts of Southern California through Friday morning.

The blaze dubbed the Camp Fire, swept through the town of Paradise, driven by high winds and dry conditions, with social media reports that a hospital, high school and K-Mart store were on fire.

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