PARADISE — A deadly wind-whipped wildfire burning in Butte County “pretty much” destroyed the town of Paradise and was moving toward Chico late Thursday evening.

Cal Fire Capt. Scott McClean said the Camp Fire has gutted thousands of structures in the town, but he said authorities won’t have an exact count until they can get into the area.

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The fire, which broke out about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, has also caused multiple deaths and injuries, authorities said.

As of about 8:15 p.m., the conflagration had consumed 20,000 acres and was 20 percent contained.

As many as 50,000 residents have been evacuated, but the Butte County Sheriff’s Office has received hundreds of calls requesting deputies to perform welfare checks on unaccounted people in the fire zone.

Heavy smoke from the fire has blown into the Bay Area, prompting the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to issue a Spare the Air Alert through at least Friday.

The Camp Fire is one of several blazes that have ignited around the state amid dry and gusty conditions. As of Thursday evening, the Hill Fire in Ventura County had consumed 10,000 acres and the …read more

Source:: East Bay – Science

      

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