Thousands Evacuate Northern California Wildfire

11 hours ago
Originally published on November 9, 2018 10:42 am
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's turn now to the California wildfires that have been raging across that state. In Ventura County, a brush fire quickly spread to cover as much as 10,000 acres. That's according to local fire officials. It's spread around the area close to Thousand Oaks. This is the city in Ventura County where a mass shooting Wednesday night claimed the lives of 12 people at a bar. Smoke from the fires could be seen yesterday over the location of a vigil remembering the shooting's victims.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And in Butte County, in Northern California, another wildfire caused what officials are calling mass devastation in the town of Paradise. That's about 80 miles north of Sacramento. The fire has already destroyed at least 1,000 structures as it spread from 10 acres to 10,000 acres in a matter of hours.

MARTIN: Many residents were caught off guard by just how quickly the winds ended up spreading this fire. Here's Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.

KORY HONEA: I can tell you it was moving extraordinarily - it was moving really, really fast. It was quite frightening.

INSKEEP: And we told you that in the town of Paradise, about 1,000 buildings have been destroyed. Fire Captain Scott McLean told the Associated Press the town itself is pretty much destroyed. Paradise resident Christopher Crippen (ph) spoke to KGO-TV about what he saw.

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CHRISTOPHER CRIPPEN: It was panicky, horrifying. The sky was black, and there was fire right behind our house. And when we were on the street - three houses up, a tree fell down. And the wind was blowing so hard that you could see the fire travel towards our house.

INSKEEP: Two firefighters have been hurt so far, and officials have not yet said whether the fire caused any fatalities. As this fire continues, Butte County District Supervisor Doug Teeter urged residents to heed calls to leave.

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DOUG TEETER: Please, if you get the call, it's no joke. It's time to go. Listen to the emergency personnel. They're telling you what to do.

MARTIN: The fire now threatens the nearby city of Chico where Chico State University officials have actually closed that school down in anticipation of the fire. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.