There were 23.4 million Californians lopes not only fan flames but also dry out the land surface, lowering relative humidity levels to 10 percent - creating tinderbox conditions for the spread of fire. The Mendocino Complex Fire, which was finally contained in August at more than 410,000 acres, ended up being the largest complex fire in recorded California history.
Resident Shari Bernacett told the Associated Press she "knocked on doors, yelled and screamed" to get mobile home residents in her area to leave as fire consumed the hillside.
"F-ing Paradise is gone", she said.
The Butte County Sheriff's office said an evacuation order was issued for areas of Paradise, a town of about 27 000 people.
Flames from the unchecked, 8,100-hectare Camp Fire, which began early Thursday, were being driven westward by 56 km/h winds, fire officials said.More news: White House revokes CNN reporter's press pass after clash with Trump
Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the fire-stricken area in Northern California and requested a presidential disaster declaration, saying that unsafe weather conditions were expected to last several days.
Officials have recovered the remains of five people from vehicles that were "overcome by" the raging fire in Butte County, the sheriff's department there announced on Friday morning.
"Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it's that kind of devastation", California fire captain Scott McLean said.
Authorities fear the fire, fueled by strong winds, could reach Chico - a city of 90,000 people where many Butte County families already have evacuated to shelters.
By 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Paradise resident Tanah Clunies-Ross said she could not see her vehicle from her front door through the cloud of smoke.
Officials were sending as many firefighters as they could, Cal Fire spokesperson Rick Carhart said.More news: Trump Celebrates 'Beautiful Barbed Wire' On U.S.-Mexico Border
"There was a big, giant wall of fire on the side of the vehicle", Kambourian said of his wife's evacuation.
The blaze, known as the Woolsey Fire, is spreading south, has jumped a major highway and is now threatening coastal areas including parts of Malibu.
Nurse Cassie Lerossignol hugs as coworker as the Feather River Hospital burns while the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on November 8, 2018.
Cal Fire, the state's agency responsible for managing the region's chronic wildfires, reported that the blaze has been dubbed the "Camp Fire", a humorously serendipitous name that comes from it place of origin: the area of Camp Creek Road and Pulga Road near Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon, to the east of town.
In a video posted to Facebook by a resident, the blaze can be seen destroying everything in its path.More news: Smog Envelops Delhi 2 Days Before Diwali, Air Quality May Worsen