There are an estimated 1000 people that are missing as a result of the ‘Camp’ fire that went through the communities of Paradise and Magalia in Butte County, CA. The fire started before 6:00 am Thursday and was whipped by 49 mph winds that devastated Paradise, CA.
The fire started Thursday morning in the Feather River Canyon near Pulga. The blaze grew quickly, ripping through Paradise by midday and continuing toward Chico. Another branch of the fire pushed east to Highway 99 near Neal Road, another south toward Highway 149 and another north toward Forest Ranch.
“The whole lower side of Paradise is totally engulfed in flames,” evacuee Kevin Winstead told Action News Now reporter Laura Eng. “The Pacifica, Princeton area, Neal Road and the Feather River Hospital all engulfed in flames right now.”
California wildfires leave Paradise ‘destroyed,’ force evacuees to abandon vehicles and run
“Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation,” Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean told the Associated Press late Thursday. He estimated the Camp Fire burned a couple of thousand structures to the ground in the town of 27,000 people, about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.
“We were surrounded by fire, we were driving through fire on each side of the road,” said police officer Mark Bass, who lives in Paradise and works in neighboring Chico. He evacuated his family and then returned to the fire to help rescue several disabled residents, including a man trying to carry his bedridden wife to safety. “It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us.”