At least 1,000 structures destroyed by fast-moving fire in Northern California

Camp Fire Smoke Smoke from the Camp Fire

Richard Sorenson captures these images off of California Highway 32.

Pacific Gas & Electric, the state's largest utility, announced Tuesday it might preemptively cut power to eight California counties starting Thursday morning to prevent a possible wildfire, including Butte County where the Camp Fire is located.

The blaze surrounded the Feather River Hospital, causing hospital staff to evacuate patients via life flight and search and rescue teams, McClean said.

He said sheriff's deputies helped patients evacuate.

Adventist Health Feather River, a hospital in Paradise, evacuated its patients on Thursday afternoon.

The patients were taken to Oroville Hospital and Enloe Medical Center, the statement said.

On Thursday afternoon, California fire officials say the fire had expanded to about 18,000 acres, but its true size is hard to pinpoint because of heavy smoke, which can be seen from miles away. Butte College has been closed and is operating as a staging area for fire personnel.

The Concow School sent its 60 students home shortly after the blaze, but many faculty members are anxious about their homes, said Golden Feather Union Elementary School District Superintendent Josh Peete. "I'm driving through fire as we speak. We're doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas".

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Cal Fire tweeted that the fire was "very dangerous" and urged people to follow evacuation orders. "We tried to get all the nondigital things that we could - you know, stuff that couldn't be replaced".

Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that two firefighters and multiple residents were injured. Later, the sheriff's office included the campus in its evacuation orders.

Flames consume a vehicle and building as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise, Calif., today. Her grandmother, who is in her 70s and lives alone, never showed up up at a meeting spot in Chico, though. "It can't be there anymore".

The fire is the latest in a string of disastrous wildfires that have burned in California over the past year. She and her husband grabbed their dog, jumped in their pickup truck and drove through flames before getting to safety, she said.

The blaze, known as the Camp Fire, is moving at an estimated 80 acres per minute.

"It started in Pulga, came across to Concow and down into Paradise". From the Costco parking lot in Paradise, light from the flames lit up the morning horizon.

The "Camp Fire" - as named by local officials - is expected to grow because of high winds and current dry conditions in the area. At that rate, it's burning a football field every 3 seconds.

A red flag warning is in effect in the area, meaning Thursday will bring 20-to-40-mph winds and low humidity that threaten to spread the wildfire.

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