Deadly fire leveled a California town in less than a day

Image Credit: CAL FIRE / MGN

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) - In the town of Paradise, little remains of the Sierra Nevada foothill community founded in the 1800s.

A fire that has become the most destructive in California history wiped it out in less than a day, destroying more than 6,700 structures, almost all of them homes. It grew to nearly 140 square miles (360 square kilometers).

Nine people have been found dead, some inside their cars and others outside vehicles or homes after a desperate evacuation.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea called it "the worst-case scenario," saying it is what officials long feared because there was not enough time to implement an evacuation plan.

With fires also burning in Southern California , state officials put the total number of people forced from their homes at more than 200,000.