VIDEO Nightmare evacuations from Northern California wildfire #CampFire

Fire started at just before 6:30AM, and has been driven by fierce winds in excess of 50mph. Now over 17,000 acres.

This is some of the scenes from evacuation going on this morning as people try to evacuate the Camp Fire which has caused the entire town of Paradise CA to be evacuated. Much of the town is burning, and this includes Feather River Hospital. The fire is over 5000 acres now.

video by Jerre Bates who escaped and wrote on FB:

This is what we went through to get out of Paradise…..

Here is another video showing the same terror during evacuation:


Skyway below Neal Road, video by Mike Malloy.

Skyway just below Neal Road. Video by Sean McCreary


The plume is huge, covering the sky up to 30 miles away, as seen by radar:


Some ground photos:

Camp fire seen from 30 miles away in North Chico – Photo Rick Anderson
Fire seen from downtown Chico, CA about 8:30AM 25 miles away…picture from Scott Howard.

The fire is so large that is shows up on satellite. Note the white dot in Northern California.

I’m told by friends that escaped that major buildings in Paradise are burning. The high school, churches, the hospital, and many many homes. This is a disaster of epic proportions.

The fire stated at just before 6:30AM, and has been driven by fierce winds in excess of 50mph.


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November 8, 2018 12:26 pm

Wow. It is indeed a fast fire when Inciweb doesn’t list it yet.

Prayers and best wishes to all affected.

Curious George
Reply to  Rob_Dawg
November 8, 2018 2:23 pm
November 8, 2018 12:38 pm

Living in areas like this has to be stressful. I live in a hurricane area and we have had a few, but unless you live in an area like Mexico Beach that can get hit by the full force of a Cat 4/5 or are in a low area subject to flooding, most people come out on the other side a little beat up but back to normal in a couple of weeks.

Firestorms are a completely different animal. The can take no prisoners. My daughter lives in the hills above Oakland and history has shown it can be a disaster. Wish people living in this area the absolute best.

Reply to  rbabcock
November 9, 2018 1:47 am

Living in a by progressives controlled areas has to be stressful.

November 8, 2018 12:55 pm

That is terrifying

November 8, 2018 12:57 pm

The issue with CO2 will change from: “It causes global warming.” to “It causes trees and forests to grow much faster than we are prepared to manage them.”

The damage from the Oakland fires was mostly created by neglected and unmaintained ‘green spaces’.

I have no information regarding this latest blaze, other than it seems to be affecting inhabited areas pretty early in its existence.

Reply to  rocketscientist
November 8, 2018 1:12 pm

In the Bay Area cities … “every tree is sacred”. In EVERY city and county you need PERMISSION to cut a native tree or any other tree (after it gains sufficient size as to be designated … sacred). I was told once that I couldn’t grade my building site … because it would disturb all the natural seedling oaks that had sprouted around a “heritage” oak. Those 6-inch tall seedlings HAD to be protected … because they were … “natural” (there were dozens, probably 100 of them). No, I am NOT making-up this story, it’s in the public record as authored by the city’s consulting peer-review arborist.

Steven C Lohr
Reply to  kenji
November 8, 2018 7:03 pm

I have no doubt about what you said. I have family who live in Berkeley. We had reason to go down to the area that was burned during the Oakland fire. The property we were on was probably the scariest piece of incendiary underbrush I have seen. A fire on that hillside couldn’t be outrun if you were on a horse. It’s a death trap. The thing that makes it even more incredible is the fact that many of the houses are rebuilds after the huge Oakland fire!! It’s just nuts.

Richard G.
Reply to  rocketscientist
November 11, 2018 7:44 pm

In areas known as the ‘wild land-urban interface’ it is utterly critical to maintain a defensible space with no fuels close to structures. Poor fuels management led to the tunnel fire in Oakland/Berkeley. These videos show the landscape to be overgrown scrub forest with fuel ladders that allow the fire to climb into the canopy. Fuel abatement is absolutely of paramount necessity in YOUR neighborhood where ever you live.

November 8, 2018 12:58 pm

There is absolutely no excuse for this….none…zero

Fires are too common in Calif for them to not spend the money…..that they waste on too much other crap… have the equipment ready on a moments notice to put these fires out immediately when they are small and easier to put out

They should have an entire fleet of water bomber planes…sitting and ready..around the clock

What they save in damage would pay for those planes and equipment many times over…….

Reply to  Latitude
November 8, 2018 2:38 pm

I am more in agreement with Kenji above. Most of the problem is bad forest management. The romantic idiots who dote on natural everything are moral midgets and ought to be properly educated. Human life is way more important than being able to call a forest natural.

Reply to  commieBob
November 8, 2018 2:53 pm

There’s way too much forest for that……

They have these fires almost every year…sometimes many in one year….it’s a fact of life for them

…and each time they let everything burn down because they are not prepared for a fire

no excuse for this

Reply to  Latitude
November 8, 2018 5:02 pm

The ‘flat’ (non Sierra) Cali ecosystems are coastal chaparral and interior montaine. Both are evolved for fire no different than the former prairie savanahs of my SW WI dairy farm, where all the present hardwood ravine forests are ‘manmade’ and all the 200 yr plus now dying of old age remaining giant burr oaks are ‘natural’ savanah remenants. They have diameters chest high over 6 feet, are usually hollow, and often harbor wild honey bee colonies. They dont repropogate in my pastures for three reasons. 1. Acorns are eaten. 2. Shoots are eaten. 3. Lack of grass fires to solve (temporarily) 1 and 2.

Reply to  Latitude
November 8, 2018 4:57 pm

In this case it is the winds which are the major factor in driving this fire. That and the continuing dry conditions which are 100% the opposite of the last 3 years of moderate to heavy rains starting in early October. That leaves everyone in these forest areas in danger, especially with some of the idiots who are camped out in the mountains growing their little weed patch. Temps for the last 3 nights have been down to 27 F for 5 to 7 hours of the night time. I have smelled campfire smoke 3 or 4 times now in the morning when going outside. I pointed that out to a neighbor who is part of the local volunteer fire dept. The smoke which I smelled wasn’t too far away judging from the scent of it. That is worrisome in these parts. I have a treed slope right behind my unit. The entire slope is deep with newly fallen dried leaves. If that caught fire, then it would be off to the races in a heart beat.

Steven F
Reply to  Latitude
November 8, 2018 6:58 pm

California does water bomber planes and they are bing used. But they have to get close to the ground to get water on the fire. As a result they cannot fight the fire at night because they would not be able to see the surrounding hills. The fire was first reported at sunrise. At 9AM the skies were so dark it looked like night. At that time it was growing rapidly (up to 80 acres a minute. There were so many people evacuating that fire crews had a had time getting there. All road lanes were being used to evacuate people.

Under the conditions present at the time there is no way to put within an hour. In all likelyhood it took several hours for grown crews to get there and the winds may have slowed the air response or made it ineffective.

Reply to  Latitude
November 8, 2018 9:39 pm

California seems to have cornered the market on repeating bushfires. Seems they have the recipe just right compared with other States.

Reply to  Latitude
November 9, 2018 10:11 am

Reality check time!
Those planes cannot fly at night! Those planes cannot fly in the 50mph winds. Those planes cannot set fully loaded with water/retardant because the liquid leaks out and the airframe and landing gear cannot support the load continuously.


John Bell
November 8, 2018 1:00 pm

FROCK! I hate forest fires!

November 8, 2018 1:05 pm

Anthony! I hear Paradise and I think of you. I hope this fire doesn’t threaten your homestead.

Meanwhile … PG&E shuts down power …

Too little too late? Or is this fire a case of Arson … like so many others (which will go unreported and unpunished)

Randle Dewees
November 8, 2018 1:09 pm

Heart Breaking, I lived in Paradise for 1982 to 1984 while studying at Chico State.

Evan Jones
November 8, 2018 1:42 pm

Hang in there, Anthony!

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Evan Jones
November 10, 2018 2:30 pm

Second this. You guys’ take on controlled burns to keep deadwood to a minimum?

TG McCoy
November 8, 2018 1:47 pm

This thing hit with a total shock and surprise:
Wildfire today:
Calfire is on it with several tankers and Helos in the air and lots of ground crews.
Sounds like Paradise isn’t doing well and there are people trapped..
good water source too. DC-10’s are around and Chico is nearby IF the wind stays down the
will get it. DC-10’s are roughtly 11,000 gallon tankers…
Not willing to speculate-yet..

Reply to  TG McCoy
November 8, 2018 5:44 pm

Listen to this man, he knows his stuff.

November 8, 2018 2:04 pm

Very sad….similar to Ft. McMurray fires….

Lil Fella from OZ
November 8, 2018 2:06 pm

A lot of fires can be prevented with the right methods. But the so called environmentalist wont allow any fire management schemes.

November 8, 2018 2:16 pm

Stay safe, Anthony.

November 8, 2018 2:39 pm

The smoke has worked its way over to Mendocino county and from there, south along the coast. The Bodega Bay area is now quite smokey from this fire.

November 8, 2018 2:42 pm

This is very, very bad…from 5,000 acres to 17,000 acres in hardly any time. A fire storm like is my worst nightmare and have been through a few evacuations like this, one just last year. I hope everybody gets out unscathed from this and the wind just quiets down for a start. Good luck to everyone in Butte County, I will be paying very close attention and hoping that everyone gets out safe and sound.

November 8, 2018 2:53 pm

Truly awful.

And I hate to seem mean, but what started it? Was there lightning? was there an electrical failure? Was it man made or natural? No doubt climate change will be blamed but it only takes one idiot with a tinfoil BBQ to start something like this.

We are largely insulated from severe weather and natural catastrophes in the UK so it’s difficult to comprehend the scale and devastation of what’s going on with you guys, but we do take it personally when you suffer. Americans and Aussies are our closest cousins.

Steven F
Reply to  HotScot
November 8, 2018 6:29 pm

it will take months to figure out the cause. There were no storms at the time . Just a lot of wind and the winter rains have not started yet so the ground is very dry.

David K
Reply to  HotScot
November 9, 2018 12:48 pm

It doesn’t take much to start an inferno here when these winds blow to the west during the fall. It’s a hot and dry wind, strong enough to rip shingles off roofs (if you have a lousy roof like mine). These fires develop their own internal wind patterns that are massive and lead to acceleration.

Dr. Terry Clark, actually developed a model to describe these internal patterns. “…When these vortices are tilted from horizontal to vertical, you get fire whirls. Fire whirls have been known to hurl flaming logs and burning debris over considerable distances… There’s another way that you can tilt the vorticity. That is it can be titled without breaking into fire whirls, and basically be burst forward into what’s called hairpin vortices or forward bursts,” Clark said. “These are quite common in crown fires [fires at the top of trees], and so you see fires licking up hill sides.” Forward bursts can be 20 meters (66 feet) wide and shoot out 100 meters (328 feet) at a speed of 100 mph (161 kph). These bursts leave a scorched region and lead to fire spread.

The stronger the wind blows, the faster the fire spreads. The fire generates winds of its own that are as many as 10 times faster than the ambient wind. It can even throw embers into the air and create additional fires, an occurrence called spotting. Wind can also change the direction of the fire, and gusts can raise the fire into the trees, creating a crown fire.”

November 8, 2018 3:09 pm

This is a nightmare beyond words. We’ll be praying for you at our church in Marysville, Victoria, Australia. This was consecrated a year ago after the original was burnt down in the 2009 Firestorm.

Old Woman of the North
November 8, 2018 3:14 pm

Take care, Tony as Chico seems to be down-wind. Best wishes to all citizens.
As this fire started in a camp ground my guess is that someone lit a fire to cook breakfast, despite the 50mph winds.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Old Woman of the North
November 8, 2018 3:53 pm

Actually, the name appears to come from where it apparently began, near Camp Creek Road. No word yet on how it actually started.

Tom F
November 8, 2018 4:00 pm

We are 140 miles away and there is a lot of smoke from the fire in our community. Cannot see hillsides a mile away. I have been working with a group to reduce fire danger on our hillsides. The problem isn’t so much restrictive regulations as it is fire suppression itself. These hills here in Napa were routinely and intentionally burned by Native Americans by which they promoted open space, wildlife and made hunting and gathering easier. That was 150 years ago, but now the underbrush is so thick that instead of fires burning under the trees, the trees themselves go up and create a fire storm. There is a 21 acre burn permitted and scheduled soon nearby in a forested area that has been delayed because of light winds. Seems backwards, but managed burns and defensible space around structures are a cure. They are not popular, but there is no amount of fire fighting equipment that can counter one of these conflagrations in wind and tinder dry and overgrown underbrush when the large trees themselves go up.

Stephen Singer
November 8, 2018 4:31 pm

This is just 30-40mi or so north of the infamous Oroville dam disaster 2-3 years ago.

Gary Pearse
November 8, 2018 6:05 pm

With reports of manmade fires being common in California, the first thing that pops into my mind is the ugly people are trying to turn the declining wildfire statistics up again for the climate change meme. Jerrycan Brown is complicit! He vetoed a plan to have sparking power poles in a forested community upgraded and later that year a devastating killer fire broke out that was linear along the very powerline reported as dangerous. He doubled down on CC as the cause. He seems to be litigation proof dedpite this cause and effect.

November 8, 2018 6:59 pm

It’s the winds that do it… Once the winds get above 25 knots it stops being a bushfire and becomes a firestorm… Especially in Eucalypt or Pine forests.

Reply to  J.H.
November 8, 2018 9:02 pm

Another reason for the intensity of this fire is likely due to the fire starting in the Feather River Canyon. The fire then moved west into Paradise. I would think that the canyon would have intensified/focused the blaze.

November 8, 2018 7:24 pm



November 8, 2018 8:07 pm

definitely Paradise Lost – lost to hell

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
November 8, 2018 8:58 pm

It has gotten worse with loss of life, and a large portion of the town destroyed. …

November 8, 2018 8:27 pm

Sad news update from the Chicoer news site. People have died in this swift moving fire, and from what I have heard from local fire fighters where I live across the valley a sizeable portion of the town of Paradise is gone. …

November 8, 2018 10:37 pm

Twain Harte, east of Sonora, California, is a tree hugger bastion of insanity living for now in denial. At least in Chico there appear to be good roads out. The Rim Fire a few years ago burned much of northwestern Yosemite and national forest land.
Figuring I suppose it won’t happen to them, they don’t thin the forest around their property, and even support “environmentalist” groups filing injunctions to stop tree thinning in the surrounding forest lands.
I hope they wise up, or many may not escape a fast moving fire in the fuel rich area.

Reply to  Hoser
November 8, 2018 11:06 pm

The east side of Chico is now under evacuation orders. I post this here as otherwise my comments do not post. Must be due to the attack against WUWT.

same ordinary fool
November 8, 2018 10:37 pm

No individual forest fires or hurricanes can be attributed to global warming – whether one wants to or not.
But it becomes a moot point when you learn your family members were in the Thursday morning evacuation from Paradise – with their house left behind.

November 9, 2018 1:04 am

Praying for a reverse in wind direction – Stay safe.

November 9, 2018 3:53 am

crap! Anthony get Kenji and any other pets, most precious stuff, and get the hell out if havent already

Phil R
November 9, 2018 6:55 am

Just curious, on the GOES west satellite imagery, there is also a bright white spot in southern CA, around the LA area. Is there another fire down in that area?

Phil R
Reply to  Phil R
November 9, 2018 6:57 am

Linky to satellite imagery I was referring to (hope it works).

Reply to  Phil R
November 12, 2018 2:01 pm

I believe that’s the Salton “Sea”

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