Thousands of Evacuees Flee Wildfire Devastation in Northern California

Bloomberg QuickTake News published this video item, entitled “Thousands of Evacuees Flee Wildfire Devastation in Northern California” – below is their description.

A Northern California wildfire threatened thousands of homes Thursday after winds whipped it into a monster that incinerated houses in a small mountain community and killed at least three people. Several other people were critically burned and hundreds, if not thousands, of homes and other buildings were believed to have been damaged or destroyed in the foothills of the northern Sierra Nevada, authorities said. About 20,000 people were under evacuation orders or warnings in three counties. Dozens of evacuees gathered Thursday at a fairgrounds in the small city of Gridley. Butte County spokeswoman Amy Travis described the evacuation center as a temporary staging area while officials tried to line up hotel rooms for families displaced by the fire amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Wednesday night, 90 families had been placed in rooms and another 140 were on a waiting list. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the North Complex fire near the small Northern California city of Oroville -which had been burning for weeks in forestland and was 50% contained – exploded to six times its size as winds gusting to 45 mph (72 kph) drove a path of destruction through mountainous terrain and parched foothills. Many homes were incinerated in the hamlet of Berry Creek, with a population of 525 people. The fire also threatened Paradise, the Northern California town devastated two years ago by the deadliest blaze in state history that killed 85 people. Since the mid-August, fires have killed 12 people, destroyed more than 3,600 buildings, burned old growth redwoods, charred chaparral and forced evacuations in communities near the coast, in wine country north of San Francisco and along the Sierra Nevada. The August Complex, centered in wilderness about 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of San Francisco, is now the state’s largest fire on record after scorching more than 736 square miles (1,906 square kilometers). That exceeds a 2018 complex in the same region.

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