The Shasta County Carr Fire grew by about 60 percent overnight, scorching 44,450 acres (18,000 hectares), state fire officials said.
Residents in the western part of Redding who had not been under evacuation orders were caught off guard and had to flee with little notice.
The fire has destroyed 15 structures so far and is threatening nearly 500 more in Shasta County.
No word on what the miscommunication could have been between the two agencies, but the mandatory order went into effect early Friday morning. The National Weather Service said Friday that a red flag warning - which indicates a heightened fire risk - would remain in effect until midnight, with gusting winds and low humidity expected to potentially fuel a "dangerous and rapid spread" of fire. CHP says he was driving a auto that matched the description of a vehicle seen near the origin of the fire.
"When it hit, people were really scrambling", he said.
The other wildland fires, according to fire authorities, are "within Southwest Riverside County and Federal areas along State Highway 74 in the San Bernardino National Forest". They said the fire behavior has been erratic and unfavorable weather conditions have made progress hard.
The Carr Fire burned across a stretch of California about two hours south of the OR border.
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Many firefighters turned their focus from the flames to getting people out alive. (Picture: AP) A house burns during the Carr fire in Redding, California (Picture: AFP) More than 1,700 firefighters are battling the blaze, Cal Fire said in an evening advisory. The wildfire has demolished dozens of homes, forcing thousands to evacuate. Late Thursday, the city said its electric utility would be shutting down power to most of north Redding at the request of fire authorities "and to maintain system stability due to multiple line outages".
"We're just going to chill out and sleep and pray that we've got a place to go home to", area resident Joey Silva told the Sacramento Bee as he waited in the Shasta College parking lot.
"Right now they're doing what they can, they're trying to make a stand where they can, if possible", McLean said.
"There was no thinking about it", she told the Redding Record Searchlight newspaper, adding that she would spend most of her 71st birthday outside a shopping center awaiting word on their home. "It doesn't sound good". Jerry Brown has declared states of emergency in Riverside and Shasta counties as fires burn on both ends of the state. "This fire is out of control!" the California Highway Patrol explained in a Facebook post on July 26, urging residents to evacuate.
In the Sierra Nevada, famed Yosemite National Park closed Wednesday as smoke from a fire to the west cast a pall on the region.
The remains of boats burned by the Carr Fire are seen on a lake Thursday, July, 26, 2018, in Whiskeytown, Calif. California Gov.