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California wildfires: 5 people found dead in cars trying to flee

California wildfires: 5 people found dead in cars trying to flee

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

There were 23.4 million Californians lopes not only fan flames but also dry out the land surface, lowering relative humidity levels to 10 percent - creating tinderbox conditions for the spread of fire.

What has happened in northern California?

"The smell of the smoke and realizing the smoke was a lot closer than I thought and then seeing flames up to my knees".

Maj. Gen. David Baldwin says other military personnel are studying satellite imagery to assess the scope of the damage and map the fire.

Thousands are also without power in the region, which is just north of Sacramento.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said all available officers in the area are mobilizing to conduct home-checks.

Firefighters battle the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday.

As the wildfire raged nearby, Whitney Vaughan and her husband had just enough time to grab a laundry basket of dirty clothes and some pictures before fleeing their Paradise, California, home.

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They drove away but got eventually got caught in traffic. The smoke was so thick, she said, it was like she was driving at night.

The entire town was ordered evacuated, setting off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got struck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee foot.

She cried as she recorded video of the terrifying scene, which she posted to Facebook. "I pray everyone is safe", she wrote.

Why are the fires spreading so fast?

"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", California fire captain Scott McLean said.

In the midst of the chaos, officials said they could not provide figures on the number of wounded, but County Cal Fire Chief Darren Read said that at least two firefighters and multiple residents were injured. The extent of their injuries is unknown. The warning will remain in effect until Friday morning, officials said.

California has declared a state of emergency due to the Camp Fire's spread. Newsom is serving as acting governor while Gov.

Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter said he was on a bulldozer that pushed cars out of the way Thursday to get to the Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in the town of Paradise.

California's Santa Ana winds have stoked the fires, causing the Woolsley blaze to double in size to 8,000 acres, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

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The flames are now threatening coastal areas further south, fire officials said.

The fire has burned an estimated 2,000 structures and led authorities to order the evacuation of 52,000 people.

All schools in Butte County will be closed on Friday as a result of the Camp Fire. "Make sure your stuff is packed and ready". "We are still not out of the woods yet". Television reports showed several homes on fire in the Oak Park community.

"We were surrounded by fire".

Mark Ghilarducci provided the figure at a news briefing on Friday.

Numerous people reported missing on social media are elderly.

Actor Rainn Wilson said that resident of Thousand Oaks, still reeling from a Wednesday night shooting in which a gunman killed 12 people at a bar before killing himself, were now having to flee their homes.

The fire is being driven west by 35 miles per hour (56 kmh) winds, fire officials said.

Flames from the unchecked, 20,000-acre (8,100-hectare) Camp Fire were being driven westward by 35-mile-per hour (56 km-per-hour) winds, fire officials said.

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