PARADISE, California – Leigh Ann Loney, 29, an assistant at a rural hospital in this 27,000-acre town at the foot of the Sierra Mountain, said the feeling of urgency around the nearby fire was low when it came to work early Thursday morning.
But the fire spread rapidly, and its growth shook the unusually hot, dry, and windy conditions that triggered official alerts up and down the fire.
In half an hour the hospital, the Adventist Health Feather River, sent a warning through its loudspeakers alerting the emergency, triggering feverish ejaculation to evacuate patients and hospital staff before the flames crossed the city. Patients, including many on gurneys or wheelchairs, were loaded in waiting for emergency aid, police cars, and even some nursing vehicles when staff were evacuated, Loney said. Within hours of the evacuation of the hospital, many of the buildings on her campus had been destroyed, a premature medical facility set on a nearby helicopter left unnoticed intact.
The story was not unique. Residents in the whole area, in Butte County, about 90 miles north of the capital city in Sacramento, described how he escaped from a catastrophic fire that grew at incredible speed and turned a sunny day into the ultimate daily scene of fires, smoke, sparks and widespread destruction. Officials said at least five people were found dead in their cars in paradise and warned they would probably be more, as social media are flooded with reports of missing family members. On Friday evening, they confirmed the sixth death sentence, and later increased the number of deaths to nine.
This city was almost destroyed; it is the main commercial street turned into a smoking breeze and estimates that at least 80 percent of its houses have been burnt.
And a fire in the camp called the nearby stream has not been done yet. Emergency condition, at least 70,000 hectares, nearly 110 square kilometers, and five percent in the afternoon was only 5 percent. It was hurt by unpublished population as well as three firefighters, officials said. Hundreds of miles south of Ventura, still shaken by the mass shootout that left 12 people dead, more fire broke out.
The hospital was completely evacuated, Loney said, calling it one of the "most horrible but incredible things" she'd ever seen. Patients were thrown out of hospital through emergency care with care to the level of care they needed. There were people who were recently in the operation. Newborns are suppressed in the hands of mothers. Breathing or feeding tubes, she said.
But getting out of the hospital was just the beginning of the evacuation. The double-driveway next to the hospital was smashed by traffic, as the destruction of cars fleeing from the flicker of the flame slowed down the creep.
Loney and other residents described a scene that called into question their chances of survival: flames jumped from both sides of the road, explosive transformers ignited electric poles like tree branches and a dense smoke that suffocated the sun and hardened air,
Travel signs glittered in the dancing orange light of the fire. Everything was plump. And traffic is barely moving.
"There were no traffic rules, they all turned to themselves, and the cars hit each other," Loney said, describing two people who came out of the car and started running. He called his brother, wondering if he was talking to him for the last time.
Others described a similar escape escape. Marc Kessler, 55, a professor of science at Raa's public high school, said the sky had become black shortly after he got to work.
"There were rain black snippets of soot, down like black snow storms and burning fire everywhere," he said in an interview. "Within minutes, the city was captured."
The teachers told the emergency workers to waive the safety belt law while pilots were gathering 200 or more students in their personal vehicle. The buses drive through the flames to help, he said. One of his students pointed out what they thought was the Moon on the darkened sky.
"I said," It's not a moon. It's the sun, "he recalled, making a voice." It was a while when you did not see the smoke. "
Other residents, like Mike Kirby, 62, made other plans after seeing the clogged roads. The Paradise Paradise inhabited the unnatural darkness outside at 8:30 am and filled his trailer. He parked at the cemetery in the city – "a Great Area of Greenery," he said, where he felt he had to move if needed, despite warnings from firefighters.
"At one point I was completely surrounded," he said. He must have spent the night; the cemetery was relatively untouched.
The rest of the city, which has a large pensioner community, has also not made any money. People who came back on Friday came to find a lot of destruction.
The houses were lying in ruins along the road that was covered with carcasses that had been burnt down and other waste. The strip of business centers in which Burger King, the Valero and Jack in the Box were run, and small businesses were reduced to neglected ruins.
Nearby are also the fourth. For every surviving building there were dozens who were not. Mayor Jody Jones he told reporters that about 80 percent of the house in the city was burned. Officials said they had not yet had a complete death toll due to the danger of fire.
Apart from Paradise, the nearby community of Magalia, Pulga, Concow, Butte Valley and Butte Creek Canyon were also under evacuation orders.
The fiery pushes to flee from the many residents who described – one made even worse for traffic – pointed to the question of whether more planning or infrastructure needed in the catastrophic fires of the country.
Scott Lotter, a member of the city council, said it took almost two hours to go half a mile while he evacuated with his wife, daughter and bunny, gold coin, and two dogs.
In less than a year, California saw the record for the largest fire broke, of 282 thousand hectares of Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara County in December. That record was destroyed in July when the Mendocino Complex fire claimed 460 thousand hectares. And in the last ten years six of the ten most terrible fires in the state – measured by the number of buildings destroyed – have occurred.
Firefighters destroy at least 2,000 objects, leading them to number 4 on the list. Thousands more threatened, and about 50,000 people were evacuated across the region.
Stephen Pyne, a firefighter expert at Arizona State University, said the destruction of the city of Raja was an unusual sign of the power of contemporary fire in California.
"We see urban barriers, and this is a real phase change over the last few years," Wired said. "But what is remarkable is the way they are walking around the cities we thought was something that was stolen a century ago."
officials He said Friday morning, Stirling City and Inskip issued an evacuation solution, as the National Weather Service warned that strong winds and low humidity could create a "critical fire time".
The fire began on Thursday near Pulga, a small community surrounded by the Plumas National Forest, officials said. The first firefighters who arrived came from 10 to 15 acres, burning in the middle of the wind at almost 50 km / h.
Kessler, a high school teacher, said more than 100 students were taken to Chico, where they met again with their family members. He read an e-mail message to The Post by one of his students.
"Firefighters are terrible, I want to go home, but there is no home for home," said Kessler. "I can not stop crying because I have anxiety attacks."
Rick Prinz, Raj, who has been a football coach for the High School of Heaven in the past 20 years, said that all his players were counted, but they went through the same thing.
"Many children have lost their homes, and many are now scattered," 59-year-old The Post said. "I know three of my trainers have lost their homes, and I know that the whole neighborhoods have been burned down. I suppose I've lost my home."
Officials said schools in the county would be closed on November 23. In Chicago, a city university of around 93,000, about six miles from the Raja, officials watched the flames tiredly.
The National Weather Service predicted a dangerous weather forecast in California due to the winds of Santa Ana, which slip from the east and accelerate mountain slopes north of southern California. Red Flag Warnings for "Critical Weather Conditions" were not in force not only for the Sacramento Valley but also in central and southern California. Fires of 50 km / h were expected in many places.
About 23.4 million California were still there under the red flag warnings on Friday night, although winds are expected to ease, giving emergency users more favorable conditions for fighting fire.
Kessler said the fire felt like a battle.
"It felt like we were under an attack without warning," he said.
Bever and Rosenberg reported from Washington. Jason Samenow contributed to this report.