(The Weather Channel) Fast-moving wildfires prompted tens of thousands of evacuations in both Northern and Southern California, including 75,000 in and around Los Angeles, sending residents fleeing for their lives on short notice. The largest inferno, sparked Thursday morning in Northern California, prompted numerous evacuations, including several entire towns. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office told the Associated Press that a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the entire town of Paradise, which is home to about 27,000 people and is north of Sacramento.

“Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation,” said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean late Thursday. “The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.” At a Thursday evening news conference, Butte County Cal Fire Chief Darren Read said several hundred buildings, possibly as many as 1,000 or more, were destroyed in Paradise, though they won’t have a more exact number until they survey the damage. Another 15,000 are threatened, according to CalFire. READ MORE