Heavy rains and flash flooding hit Northern California Thursday, forcing evacuations and road closures in the area devastated by recent wildfires, including the Camp Fire and the Ferguson Fire.
Officials sent swift-water rescue teams to evacuate people trapped in vehicles and in homes after a downpour near Paradise, the town of 27,000 that was destroyed by the Camp Fire earlier this month.
Butte County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brad Meyer told KHSL/KNVN television stations in Chico that about a dozen homes were affected and rafts were being used to rescue people from water that was more than 60 centimeters (23 inches) deep.
“It is serious. The water is coming up, so we want to make sure we get everybody out that we can,’’ Meyer told the station.
The National Weather Service also issued flash-flood warnings for other areas hit hard by the wildfires, including the Carr, Delta and Hirz fires in Shasta and Trinity counties.
Rain was also creating misery for Californians displaced by the fires, some of whom are still living in tents in parking lot encampments.
The weather service forecast heavy rains over the next few days with significant snowfall in the Sierra Nevada mountains into Friday morning. It warned travelers and residents to be “alert for possible road problems due to flooding, rock and debris flows. This could quickly become a dangerous situation.”