California wildfire forces tens of thousands to evacuate


(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of residents in Northern California were forced to flee a rapidly spreading wildfire on Thursday, as strong winds and dry conditions drove the blaze toward several small towns, state authorities said.

The Camp Fire began early on Thursday and quickly charred 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares), forcing the evacuation of the 27,000 residents of the town of Paradise, about 150 miles (241 kms) northeast of San Francisco, and several other communities, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement.

There were no reports of injuries or structures burned and the fire department did not indicate how the blaze started.

Reporting by Andrew Hay, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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