A fast-moving wildfire in Northern California has forced thousands of residents to flee their homes and already has reached at least one neighborhood, destroying multiple structures.

The Thompson Fire in Butte County erupted near Oroville just before 11 a.m. Tuesday and by Wednesday morning had grown to more than 3,500 acres, with zero containment, according to Cal Fire.

At least four structures had been destroyed, and 12,000 others were threatened by the flames as of Wednesday morning, Cal Fire said. Four firefighters suffered minor injuries, and no other injuries were reported in the blaze by Wednesday.

About 28,000 people were under evacuation orders, and firefighters focused on protecting homes and other structures, officials said. The city of Oroville declared a state of emergency Tuesday night.

Fire departments from across the Bay Area were on the fire lines or on their way to help. The San Francisco Fire Department says 18 of its firefighters left for Butte County, and crews from San Jose, Milpitas and San Mateo also are in the fire zone.

The governor’s office announced late Tuesday that federal funding had been approved to help with firefighting efforts. Gov. Gavin Newsom this week activated the State Operations Center to coordinate California’s response, dispatch mutual aid and support communities as they respond to threats of wildfire and excessive heat.

Newsom declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning.

“We are using every available tool to tackle this fire and will continue to work closely with our local and federal partners to support impacted communities,” Newsom said in a statement Wednesday morning. “As we head into some of the most challenging months of wildfire season, the state is better prepared than ever to protect at-risk communities with new tools, technology and resources.”



Several local fire departments are sending strike teams to assist in defending against the Butte County fire.

Evacuation centers in Butte County were set up at the Nazarene Church in Oroville and the Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley.

For more information on the fire and the evacuation zones, visit Cal Fire’s official incident web page.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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