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Several Northern California fires are now threatening communities in Butte County, including Paradise, which was largely destroyed in 2018 in what was the worst fire in California history.

The North Complex fire, which includes the Bear fire, spread rapidly overnight, stunning fire officials with its speed and ferocity. By morning, it had consumed an additional 80,000 acres, bringing it to more than 254,000 acres, and extending its potential threat to the towns of Paradise and Concow, which were devastated in the 2018 Camp fire.

The Camp fire killed 85 people and destroyed more than 13,900 homes. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. acknowledged that its poorly maintained equipment sparked the blaze and pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the fire.

Jay Kurth, incident commander for the U.S. Forest Service, said the agency was still working Wednesday morning to “figure out where the fire footprint really is” because of the extreme overnight activity.

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