Man Fire Drives Through Camp Fire Flames in Northern California

Man Fire Drives Through Camp Fire Flames in Northern California

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

Butte County supervisor Doug Teeter said authorities used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out the way to reach Feather River Hospital and evacuate patients as flames engulfed its old wing and the roof of the emergency department.

The town of Chico, population 93,000, was potentially threatened as 35-mile-per hour (56 kph) winds drove the blaze westward, he added. By late this afternoon, the fire had topped 18,000 acres.

Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.

Some of the hospital's 'outbuildings, ' such as out-patient clinics caught fire and were damaged but the main hospital was not, said Kinney.

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.

This photo taken from video provided by CBS2/KCAL9 shows a wildfire burning in Camarillo.

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.


In Chico, west of the fire, resident Tina Greer said the care home where her disabled son lives with five other patients was evacuating.

She and her husband "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to alert as numerous residents of 53 mobile homes and recreational vehicles as possible to leave, Bernacett said.

Four hospital employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said. "We tried to get all the nondigital things that we could - you know, stuff that couldn't be replaced". She said people left their vehicles and ran when they started hearing explosions.

Freeman says she's scared for everyone and feels helpless from far away.

"We had to drive through flames to make it out safely", she said. The warning will remain in effect in the area until Friday morning, officials said.

"Right now, Mother Nature is in charge", Bennett said. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state".

Aside from the winds, low relative humidity in the area was making firefighters' jobs harder, and the area was under a red flag warning Thursday.

The "Camp Fire" - as named by local officials - is expected to grow because of high winds and current dry conditions in the area.

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