STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

California Camp Fire spreads, remains uncontained

The wildfire has spread from rural to populated areas, with more than 2,200 firefighters battling the flames, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Posted: Nov 9, 2018 5:43 PM
Updated: Nov 9, 2018 6:13 PM

As the wildfire raged nearby, Whitney Vaughan and her husband had just enough time to grab a laundry basket of dirty clothes and some pictures before fleeing their home in Paradise, California.

Vaughan could hear screams and explosions nearby Thursday as she and her husband got in their car and drove away. But they soon found themselves trapped with other evacuees in standstill traffic.

The Camp Fire was closing in.

"The flames were whipping and spreading so fast," Vaughan told CNN. "It began to jump the road. There wasn't anywhere to go."

LIVE UPDATES: Massive wildfires rage in California

People began to panic, Vaughan said. In the chaos, one driver backed up and slammed the front of Vaughan's SUV.

Motorists began abandoning their cars, fleeing on foot with their children in tow.

"There were no firefighters in sight," Vaughan wrote on Facebook. "I am hoping all of these people made it out."

Similar scenes played out in other communities this week as a trio of wildfires raged across the Golden State.

The most devastating is believed to be the Camp Fire, which by Friday morning had grown to 70,000 acres and was encroaching on the city of Chico, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as a Cal Fire.

At least five people have been confirmed dead in a vehicle that was overcome by fire in Paradise, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

The blaze broke out early Thursday and has grown at an astonishing rate of 80 football fields per minute. It charred 20,000 acres Thursday in less than 14 hours and has burned an area larger than Manhattan, according to CNN meteorologists.

Fueled by high winds and low humidity, the fire has placed millions of people under red flag warnings.

As many as 1,000 structures are believed to have been destroyed in the inferno, though authorities are still trying to determine the full extent of damage.

The lion's share was lost in Paradise, said John Gaddie, a spokesman for Cal Fire. About 26,000 people live in Paradise, some 85 miles north of Sacramento.

Most businesses along the town's main commercial street have suffered damage, if not outright destruction. Trees and power lines along the road are down; some trees are still ablaze.

A used car lot at Skyway and Birch Street displays a collection of burned-out cars. Their husks stand next to other cars that remain unscathed.

One vehicle spared from the fire boasts a small flag advertising "hot deals."

Vaughan and her husband escaped before flames could engulf their car, she said. It took more than 3 hours to make it through the gridlock.

"We barely stayed ahead of it," Vaughan said. "And multiple times, as we followed the flow of cars, we thought the fire was going to kill us."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Brookings
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Crater Lake
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 72°
Grants Pass
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Klamath Falls
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 72°
Warming up into the weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events