Separate wildfires rip through California, thousands flee

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A Northern California wildfire that moved so fast firefighters didn't even try to stop it killed five people, authorities said Friday as the blaze quadrupled in size after leveling much of a town of almost 30,000 people.

A local fire official said there were multiple injuries among civilians and firefighters.

An evacuation warning was issued for parts of Chico Thursday night as the Camp Fire blazed toward the city of 90,000 people.

Only a day after it began, the blaze near the town of Paradise had grown to almost 110 square miles, and investigators found the dead in vehicles that were torched by the flames.

Hospital spokeswoman Jill Kinney said all patients were evacuated.

Winds are expected to die down Friday morning and firefighters said that should help for now, but they are expected to pick back up again on Sunday.

The fires are the latest in a string of disastrous wildfires that have burned in California over the past year.

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"I'm on the phone crying, talking to my husband, just hoping I can get out of there", she said.

Christy Dawn Little abandoned her Oak Park home, northeast of Thousand Oaks, around 11 p.m. PT.

A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

"When this fire started this morning wind speeds were 35 to 40 miles per hour gusts", Cal Fire spokesperson Lynne Tolmachoff said.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said Friday the victims were found in the same area in the town of Paradise.

Colton Percifield, 20, said in an interview that he awoke at friend's house in Concow to find smoke outside around 7 a.m. Spot fires soon encroached on the house.

Adventist Health Feather River said in a post on Twitter Thursday that is transported to surrounding area hospitals.

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Dramatic footage shows flames closing in around the highways out of town and thick smoke hanging in the sky, obscuring the horizon.

Another wildfire was burning in southern California, just miles from the scene of a mass shooting Wednesday night that left 12 people dead at a bar and dance hall in the town of Thousand Oaks.

"It's very chaotic", Officer Ryan Lambert of the California Highway Patrol.

Just 12 minutes after it started Thursday afternoon, the flames spread across USA 101, leaving several drivers temporarily stranded.

Kelly Lee told the AP she called several shelters looking for her husband's 93-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Herrera, who was last heard from Thursday morning.

"Fire crews asking for buses to get them out", he reported. These winds combined with low RH and dry vegetation will increase the threat for fast spreading wildfires...particularly across grassy areas.

A Red Flag Warning is in place through Friday morning in the Butte County area, and winds are expected to gust at speeds as high as 40 miles per hour overnight, according to the National Weathers Service.

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