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article imageCamp Fire in Northern California is already visible from space

By Karen Graham     Nov 8, 2018 in Environment
Paradise - Tens of thousands of people in northern California were ordered to evacuate a fast-moving wildfire that exploded in size Thursday to over 8,000 acres in Butte County.
Called the "Camp Fire," it began about 6:33 a.m. Thursday in the Feather River Canyon, prompting an evacuation of the immediate area as in a matter of hours, the fire started to spread rapidly, forcing the evacuation of the entire town of Paradise.
Paradise is a town of about 27,000 people about 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) northeast of San Francisco. A hospital and 11 schools were evacuated as the flames crept close, with patients from Adventist Health Feather River Medical Center being taken to Oroville Hospital and Enloe Medical Center.
Butte County Schools Superintendent Tim Taylor said the fire forced the evacuation of all the schools in Paradise, as well as a school in Concow to the east. The 3,300 students at the 11 schools in Paradise were being transported down a ridge in buses and staff members’ vehicles to an evacuation center in Chico,
Lynne Tolmachoff, chief of public education for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, aka Cal Fire told Fox News the fire has been moving to the southwest. "It started in Pulga, came across to Concow and down into Paradise. It’s been hopscotching the ridges,"
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Cal Fire
The wildfire is raging
Even though there have been no reports of deaths or injuries from the fire, "It's bad," Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told the Enterprise-Record. "We're trying to get as many people out as quickly as possible and save as many lives as we can."
Firefighters have been battling hot, dry conditions and winds of up to 80 kph (50 mph). "It's really dry and we have low humidity and unfortunately those are great conditions for a fire to spread," said Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart, reports CBC Canada. Cal Fire says it is sending as many crews as possible to the scene.
"Every engine that we could put on the fire, is on the fire right now and more are coming," he said. "There are dozens of strike teams that we're bringing in from all parts of the state."
One unusual aspect of this fire is the amount of smoke and how fast it has spread, notes SF Gate. The huge fire has pumped out massive amounts of smoke already visible from space. NASA's Earth Observatory's GOES 16 satellite has captured images of the plume rising above the fire.
More about California, butte county, Wildfire, Evacuations, seen from space