Tens of thousands flee northern California wildfire

Tens of thousands flee northern California wildfire

Tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes on Thursday due to a fast-moving wildfire in northern California, dubbed the Camp Fire by local officials.

The fire prompted the evacuation of the entire town of Paradise, Calif., as well as Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley, according to the state's wildfire agency Cal Fire.

Paradise, a town of roughly 27,000, is known locally as a popular retirement community, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Butte County's sheriff told The Associated Press that the situation was "very dangerous and very serious" in an interview Thursday amid the evacuations.


"It's a very dangerous and very serious situation," Sheriff Kory Honea said. "I'm driving through fire as we speak. We're doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas."

"We're working very hard to get people out. The message I want to get out is if you can evacuate, you need to evacuate," Honea added.

A spokesman for Cal Fire told ABC News that dry conditions and winds in the state were exacerbating wildfire-prone conditions, and making it difficult for firefighters to battle the blaze. At least two firefighters were reportedly injured Thursday fighting the fire, but official injury reports were not yet available.

"The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds," Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart told the AP. "It's really dry and we have low humidity, and unfortunately those are great conditions for a fire to spread."

Earlier this year, a wildfire dubbed the Mendocino Complex fire ravaged the state and swelled to become the largest in the state's history before being brought under control by state firefighters.