As of Thursday afternoon, local time, the Camp Fire has burned through 8,000 acres of forest and is 0% contained, according to California Fire officials.
Evacuation warnings were issued for the area west of Highway 99 form 149 north to the Chico city limits and west to the Midway, and Highway 32 at Nople Ave.to the Butte County Line earlier.
Morgan Mason said her father told her that he could hear propane tanks blowing up all over Paradise this morning. "I'm driving through fire as we speak".
He is confirming reports that people had to abandon their vehicles as they try to flee the fast-moving fire.
Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration to aid with multiple fires burning in California. But the main facility, Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, was not, spokeswoman Jill Kinney said.
The chamber of commerce in nearby Chico said The Neighborhood Church was being set up as an evacuation center.
Butte College also closed Thursday morning, not because of the fire but so that fire personnel can use the campus as a staging area, the school said. "We were able to get them home pretty quick", he said. Residents awoke to the stench of smoke and the morning horizon drenched in an ashen-orange pallor that was hard to see or drive through, hindering evacuations. The Associated Press said the Ventura County Fire Department had ordered evacuation of some communities in the path of the flames - not far from the site of a deadly mass shooting at a bar in the city of Thousand Oaks. "Once it got going it picked up very rapidly".
Numerous buildings have been destroyed in Paradise and an unspecified number of people injured, Gaddie said.
Heavy ash was falling in Chico, she said.
Pulga is 30 miles north of Oroville and 130 miles north of Sacramento.
Photos and videos on social media show just how intense the massive wildfire has become.
The Butte County Sheriff's office said an evacuation order was issued for areas of Paradise, a town of about 27,000 people 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.
Fire officials said the flames were being fueled by winds, low humidity, dry air and severely parched brush and ground from months without rain.
Officials were sending as many crews as they could gather, Carhart said.
The "Camp Fire" - as named by local officials - is expected to grow because of high winds and current dry conditions in the area.