CHEROKEE, Butte Co. (KPIX 5) — New evacuations were ordered Sunday evening in Cherokee, southeast of the town of Paradise, due to a new spot fire that expanded in the late hours of the night.
Firefighters fought to battle back the flames, which engulfed a home. There was a major flare-up as flames jumped across a river and reached the top of the Highway 70 bridge.
Residents who lost their Paradise homes to the Camp Fire came to Cherokee seeking refuge, only to face the same struggles.
“My house is gone in Paradise. Took me 3 hours to get out of there. Come up to Cherokee. Stay there three or four days and now we got burned out of there. They said ‘you got about an hour,'” said fire victim Ken Mendes.
Many are still concerned about the amount of missing people–228 were reported unaccounted for on Sunday evening by Cal Fire officials.
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“I don’t want to say their names on the air but two of my friends are missing. One out of Magalia and one out of Paradise. And I’m hoping it ain’t one of the body counts,” said Ted Woods of Paradise.
Cal Fire is monitoring the expanded arm of the Camp Fire that erupted near Cherokee and is heading toward Oroville, a much more populated area.
Residents in Oroville are standing by to await potential evacuation orders as well.