Butte County Sheriff's spokeswoman Miranda Bowersox said that all of Paradise, a town of about 27,000 people 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to evacuate.
Evacuations were underway as firefighters battled a massive blaze, dubbed the Camp Fire, that was threatening the town of Paradise in Butte County Thursday, officials said.
It was not immediately known if there were injuries or fatalities.
Oviedo described a devastating scene, saying homes were engulfed in flames and utility poles were crashing down.
"My husband tried his best to get everybody out". Gusty winds and low humidity were among the factors that led to the warning.
Freeman says she's scared for everyone and feels helpless from far away.
She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through 12-foot high flames before getting to safety on Highway 99.
The Camp Fire began early Thursday morning near Camp Creek Road and Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon. The California fire map also includes info about air quality, evacuation orders, shelters, fire containment statistics, road closures, and more. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state".
He is confirming reports that people had to abandon their vehicles as they try to flee the fast-moving fire.
Adventist Health Feather River, a hospital in Paradise, evacuated its patients on Thursday afternoon. She said people left their vehicles and ran when they started hearing explosions. Her 25-year-old son has cerebral palsy, needs a wheelchair to get around and is fed through a tube.
With late autumn winds fanning the flames of the California fires, causing some blazes to grow, these two dynamic maps are worth bookmarking, so you can stay up to date with the latest updates from affected areas in Northern California as well as Southern California.
Greer says heavy ash is falling in Chico, about 14 miles (22 kilometers) west of the fire.
Four hospital employees were briefly trapped in the basement and rescued by California Highway Patrol officers, Kinney said.
Large swaths of the state are under a "red flag" fire hazard warning, and the National Weather Service Sacramento office forecasts the blaze will continue through Friday night.