PARADISE, Calif. – A fast-moving wildfire that ravaged a Northern California town Thursday sent residents racing to escape on roads that turned into tunnels of fire as thick smoke darkened the daytime sky.
A Cal Fire official said thousands of structures were destroyed.
Harrowing tales of escape and heroic rescues emerged from Paradise, where the entire community of 27,000 was ordered to evacuate. Witnesses reported seeing homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement home up in flames.
The fire was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area. By nightfall, it had consumed more than 28 square miles and was raging out of control.
Authorities say at least two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.