Raging Wild Fire – Paradise Threatened

by Jack

CAMP fire update, 8 Nov. 2018, 1700 hours- Chico, CA:  The fire’s point of origin appears to be from a remote area near the Feather River.  However, we do not have any confirmation on this as of yet.

The Camp fire continues unchecked and has grown to over 19,000 acres in the Paradise area.  See map below.  Gusting winds up to 50 mph, breaking into multiple directions over canyon terrain, have complicated containment.

For the present time firefighters are focusing on mostly just rescue.  A CAL fire spokesperson said, “Saving lives takes precedence over saving property.”   The fire moved so quickly that many people found themselves encircled and cut off.  Those folks are the firefighters first priority.  “We need to identify where they are, then find a way to reach them.  That’s our current mission.”  Specialized teams called “Hot Shots” have arrived and are staging at nearby Butte College.

Meanwhile the Gridley Fairgrounds has been opened to provide emergency shelter as well at the Nazarene Church in Oroville and the Neighborhood Church in Chico.  Enloe hospital in Chico has accepted all the patients from the Feather River hospital.  Care facilities and rehab hospitals in Paradise are moving patients to Chico and surrounding cities.

Area schools, including Chico State, Butte College and Chico High Schools were closed today and will be closed tomorrow.

 

 

(Smoke drifts over my home.) Once again Butte County is making international headlines. A 7,000+ acre fire is raging along the canyon that abuts Paradise. In some places the fire has jumped over major roads and is spreading into heavily populated areas. As of right now the rumor is, that the CAMP fire has touched Feather River Hospital which is being evacuated. This remains to be confirmed. However, Paradise, Concow and many small communities are under mandatory evacuation, but the roads are jammed, so traffic moves at a snails pace.

For the people of this county, this has the potential to be the worst fire of century, tens of thousands of people are now heading for emergency shelters. The air quality is quickly dropping, along with white flakes of ash and tiny embers. One can only hope those embers burn out before the touch the ground.

It should be a beautiful autumn day with blue skies, but as you can see from the photo above, the black clouds cast an ominous shadow over us all. It’s eery to see a bright orange ball in the sky where a yellow sun shown only minutes ago.

Just to prepared, I have a few bags packed, I have my insurance papers, family stuff, meds, etc., we ready but I feel we’re in a relatively safe area. Many people had no time to prepare, they barely escaped with their lives. Overhead I can hear the giant sky-crane helicopter hauling water to drop on the fire. Several BAC-146 jet tankers are also shuttling back and forth from the fire line to the air attack base not 5 miles away. Just this second a large turbo prop airtanker passed overhead by less than 1000 feet. I’m going outside to see what I can see, which probably won’t be much.

Stay tuned and I will try to provide updates as long as I can.  The fire is growing at the rate of 80 acres per minute.

 

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14 Responses to Raging Wild Fire – Paradise Threatened

  1. Cherokee Jack says:

    I have a pretty good view from here. I’ve watched the fire go from the Concow area to Paradise and then to lower Skyway. The wind is picking it up and dropping it, it looks like for a long way each time. I can’t imagine how they can fight something like that. I’m afraid much of Paradise will be gone, and a lot of people with it, since the exits are all jammed up. KRCR reported that the only way out is North through Magalia and Stirling City.
    I agree with you that for this county, this could turn out to be the worst ever.

  2. RHT447 says:

    Just heard through a third party that BCSO has four units in the area and they are reporting “multiple bodies”.

    • Post Scripts says:

      There are upwards of 400 missing people. Most of those are probably just fine, but law enforcement suspects others were caught by this fast moving fire and perished. They will not comment on fatalities until they can get to the bodies.

      All people staying in a shelter will have their names entered into a data base for the Red Cross, others outside the shelter will have to make their presence known to the Red Cross and that is a problem, people never think to do that. So we have a lot of safety personnel trying to find them. Sometimes that can be dangerous, but mostly it’s just a great waste of resources caused by people who should know better.

  3. Wendy says:

    Please don’t wait, take a long drive somewhere safe for the night. This is terrible. Or offer help to evacuate shelter animals or farm animals. The farm animals often get left behind.
    I’d be gone…….after helping someone/animals in need.

  4. Tina says:

    Woke to a rising red sun behind the smoke and thought it was coming over the ridge toward us. Thankfully it was not. When we finally discovered just how bad it is my heart sunk. We have friends and relatives of friends that had to flee. Sure hope you remain safe Jack. As you said it seems to be traveling in a different direction. I keep thinking of the way the fires blew through town after town in NorCal. That wind is a horrific enemy. The losses are already great. I’ll be mumbling prayers through the hours.

    • Post Scripts says:

      Tina, I’m right there with you too, guess we’ll be mumbling mutual prayers tonight. The stories coming out now are just horrific. I’m really concerned for my friends that live (lived) in Paradise. I know one of them is now safe along with his family, but the others, I have no idea. Two of the people I am supposed to work with tomorrow (and very close friends) live up there. It’s just so incredibly sad and devastating, words can describe it.

      I just heard the evacuation orders are getting closer now, they’re approaching the edge of the Chico city limits near Hwy. 32. If it gets into Chico, well, I should not speculated, lets just hope and pray that it doesn’t.

  5. J. Soden says:

    Kudos BIG TIME to actor James Woods! He has over 1.8 million followers and he’s using his Twitter account to help out families and those evacuated to locate each other.
    Well done, sir!

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