Deaths feared as wildfire engulfs North California town

Camp Fire- PLUMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICECamp Fire

Camp Fire- PLUMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICECamp Fire

A wind-whipped fire north of Los Angeles in Ventura County burned about 15,000 acres (23 square miles) and at least one home in a matter of hours.

Fire officials were working on a plan to rescue patients from a hospital after officials tried to evacuate them but had to turn back because of gridlocked traffic.

Shari Bernacett said her husband tried to get people to leave the Paradise mobile home park they manage. The whole hill's on fire.

On Thursday afternoon, California fire officials say 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.

The Associated Press said the Ventura County Fire Department had ordered evacuation of some communities in the path of the flames - not far from the site of a deadly mass shooting at a bar in the city of Thousand Oaks. She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through flames before getting to safety, she said.

'Every engine that we could put on the fire is on the fire right now, and more are coming, ' he said.

Cal Fire tweeted that the fire was "very dangerous" and urged people to follow evacuation orders.

Thousands of people in California have had to flee ahead of a wildfire that has consumed thousands of hectares of land and continues to grow, courtesy of strong winds.

The dry heat and limited rainfall - in some places, no rainfall at all - contributed to the fire's spread.

.

Thick grey smoke and ash filled the sky above Paradise and could be seen from miles away.

When he arrived there, patients were out in the front of the emergency room, where the roof had caught fire. Even though Chico is more than 150 miles north of San Francisco, a smoke advisory has been issued for the entire Bay Area, as well as other parts of Northern California.

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

The 5,000-acre fire started off Camp Creek Road and Pulga Road, Jarbo Gap, off state Highway 70 in Feather River Canyon, according to FOX 40.

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