BUTTE COUNTY (CBS SF) – In just 24 hours, the disastrous Camp Fire in Northern California has burned at the rate of almost an acre per second and scorched an area more than twice the size of San Francisco.
As of Friday Morning, the wildfire in Butte County has scorched 70,000 acres (109.38 square miles) since it was first reported around 6:30 a.m. Thursday. The area burned is more than 2.3 times the size of San Francisco (47 square miles).
Over 24 hours, the fire has burned at the rate of about 0.8 acres per second or 48.6 acres per minute.
In the fire’s first three hours, the fire grew to 5,000 acres, burning an area the size of a football field every three seconds in that period.
The Camp Fire’s most significant growth happened Thursday afternoon, when it grew 10,000 acres in about 90 minutes, more than one football field per second, according to CNN.
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The fire burning east of Chico has destroyed much of the community of Paradise, a city with a population of nearly 27,000 people. About 15,000 structures are threatened, but the number of structures destroyed is not known.
At a briefing Friday, the California Office of Emergency Services announced that 52,000 people have been evacuated. Dozens of people have been reported missing and remained unaccounted for Friday morning.
Cal OES director Mark Ghilarducci said the fire has claimed lives, but the exact number of deaths was not immediately known.
Cal Fire said the Camp Fire is only 5 percent contained. More than 2,200 firefighters have been dispatched to the scene, including several crews from the Bay Area.
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