(UPDATED at 7:03 p.m. PST November 8, 2018)
From an article in the Chico ER, updated at 6:36 p.m. Thursday:
Cal Fire-Butte County Chief Darren Read said in the afternoon that hundreds of structures in Paradise have burned, perhaps as many as 1,000. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said there are reports of multiple fatalities, and authorities are trying to verify how many.
The Sheriff’s Department estimates that 50,000 people have evacuated.
(To see all articles about the Camp Fire on Wildfire Today, including the most recent, click here.)
At 3:15 Thursday CAL FIRE estimated that the fire had burned 18,000 acres. Our very, very rough approximation of the size that is indicated by the heat detection in the map above from 1:30 p.m. puts it at around 28,000 acres. Those heat detections can sometimes be inflated when a very intensely burning fire carries a high concentration of burning embers into the smoke column downwind of the fire.
On Thursday afternoon the wind was out of the northeast at 17 mph gusting to 30, with 11 percent relative humidity. Friday night the wind should be similar, northeast at 16 gusting to 34, with 23 percent RH. The weather on Friday should be much more in favor of the firefighters — 68 degrees, RH 13 percent, and much lighter northeast winds at about 8 mph, decreasing to 2 mph by sunset.
The video below has audio of fire and law enforcement personnel talking about children in a preschool that need to be evacuated, people trapped in the basement of the hospital (that may have been on fire), a woman in labor who needed to have a c-section, and non-ambulatory patients in a nursing home who needed to be rescued. (If you don’t see the video, you can view it here.)
The state of California has activated their State Operations Center.
— Laura Eng (@LauraEngNews) November 8, 2018
(UPDATED at 1:50 p.m. November 8, 2018)
Air Attack has requested seven air tankers for the Camp Fire: four S-2s, two large, and one very large air tanker (DC-10). Apparently the wind speeds have decreased, making it possible to use the fixed wing air tankers.
At 12:13 p.m. a weather station southeast of Paradise recorded sustained winds at 13 mph with gusts up to 33 mph with a relative humidity of 13 percent.
At 1:13 p.m. Friday KRCR published a video interview with “John”, a CAL FIRE PIO, who said the estimated size of the Camp Fire was 17,000 acres. Our very, very rough approximation of the size that is indicated by the heat detection in the map above puts it at around 25,000 acres. Those heat detections can sometimes be inflated when a very intensely burning fire carries a high concentration of burning embers into the smoke column downwind of the fire.
(UPDATED at 12:14 p.m., November 8, 2018)
The winds have been too strong on the Camp Fire at Paradise, California for air tankers and water-dropping helicopters to assist firefighters on the ground. The wind speed increased dramatically at about sunset on Wednesday with gusts out of the northeast up to 50 mph. The wind has slowed on Thursday with sustained speeds at 6 to 18 mph and gusts at 22 to 30 mph.
There was a report that the fire had spotted or spread across Paradise in at least one location, at Honey Run Road west of Skyway in Paradise. At noon Thursday it had also reached the intersection of Wagstaff Road and Skyway Road in Paradise, where some evacuees had abandoned their vehicles in the gridlocked traffic and were on foot trying to escape the area.
Unfortunately one of them reported that the maneuver activated the airbag on the fire truck and disabled it, further blocking the road.
The priority at 12:10 p.m. was life safety, rather than protecting structures. Hundreds of evacuees are stranded in their vehicles or are on foot as the fire burns nearby.
— Jeff Curtis (@splinkjc) November 8, 2018
Multiple helicopters, including CHP and PG&E, are managing to fly through the strong winds to rescue civilians who are unable to evacuate due to being trapped by the fire or stranded by gridlocked traffic.
(UPDATED at 10:27 a.m. PDT November 8, 2018)
A fire that started Thursday morning is causing evacuations in Northern California. Named the “Camp Fire”, it is spreading rapidly pushed by strong northeast winds.
A hand crew responding to the fire reported at about 9 a.m. that they were entrapped along with about a dozen civilians and were taking refuge in a safety zone.
People fleeing the area are flooding the roads with traffic, causing grid lock in some areas. Some are abandoning their vehicles and attempting to escape on foot. Law enforcement officers and firefighters are transporting injured civilians. Structures are burning on Pentz Road in Paradise and other locations. The town of Paradise is being evacuated.
The Feather River Hospital is being evacuated by firefighters, Life Flight, and Search and Rescue personnel.
Air Attack estimated at about 9:40 a.m. that the fire had burned approximately 6,000 acres. The incident commander has requested 45 strike teams of engines (5 engines per strike team) and many strike teams of dozers and hand crews.
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) November 8, 2018