About 3,300 students and staff members from Paradise's 11 schools were evacuated in buses and employees' cars to a center in Chico, Butte County Schools Superintendent Tim Taylor said.
Fire officials said they expect those two fires to burn all the way to the ocean. The town of Chico, population 93,000, was potentially threatened as 35-mile-per hour (56 kph) winds drove the blaze westward, he added.
The fire in Paradise was reported shortly after daybreak in a rural area.
"The town is devastated, everything is destroyed".
Barker said he was briefly trapped by fire while trying to get people out, with flames across the road in front of him and behind him.
Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read provided the update at a news conference Thursday about the fire around the town of Paradise.
Another police officer in Chico, John Barker, said many elderly people live in Paradise and some are immobile.
The fire has burned an estimated 2,000 structures and led authorities to order the evacuation of 52,000 people.
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Percifield left in his pickup truck for an emergency meeting place in a field outside town, finding himself on an empty road with the fire a swelling inferno on both sides of the road around him.
The fire burning east of Chico has destroyed much of the community of Paradise, a city with a population of almost 27,000 people. To make matters worse, as the flames approached, they sparked explosions and toppled utility poles.
"Things started exploding", said resident Gina Oviedo.
Many abandoned their cars on the side of the road, fleeing on foot.
Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter said he was on a bulldozer that pushed cars out of the way Thursday to get to the Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in the town of Paradise. Fire officials said it could take days to figure out how many people died.
"The blaze is being driven by fairly strong winds", Carhart said.
Residents of the beachside city of Malibu have been ordered to evacuate as three fast-moving wildfires raged in California on Friday morning, including one that also spurred the evacuation of 75,000 homes near a city that was still reeling from a mass shooting.
A Red Flag Warning is in place through Friday morning in the Butte County area, and winds are expected to gust at speeds as high as 40 miles per hour overnight, according to the National Weathers Service.
Flames consume a vehicle dealership as the Camp Fire tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday. Separate wildfires were ripping through the northern and southern parts of the state on Friday, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing their homes. The town of about 26,000 people lost all power Thursday as the violent blaze knocked out power lines; Pacific Gas and Electric Co.de-energized some lines as a precaution, reportedly at the request of firefighters, a spokesperson said late Thursday morning.