The Bear Fire is part of the North Complex of fires that have collectively burned more than 254,000 acres throughout the northern part of the state.
“My immigrant father owns Village Market, the only store in Berry Creek. It burned in the #BearFire,” a reporter for the Chico Enterprise-Record tweeted Wednesday. “He put everything into the business so my brothers and I could have all the opportunities in the world. He often worked 80-hour weeks. We have insurance, but our hearts still hurt.”
Most of the structures in Berry Creek -- east of Chico, Calif., with a population of about 1,200 -- were destroyed Wednesday, according to the Enterprise-Record.
At least three people have been killed in the Bear Fire and at least 12 were missing as of Wednesday night.
By Wednesday, the Bear Fire was still raging.
One person was found dead in Berry Creek after trying to flee the fire, which rapidly grew in size overnight and joined the North Complex Fire.
The victim was found dead in a car Wednesday morning, the Mercury News of San Jose reported. Authorities said the victim appeared to have driven toward a ditch and attempted to flee on foot before succumbing to the flames.
The Butte County Sheriff's Department said at least three people had died in connection with the fire, according to local reports. The victims' identities were not immediately released.
The fire had destroyed or damaged more than 2,000 structures in Butte County by Wednesday and threatened thousands more.
The town of Paradise, which was devastated by the Camp Fire in 2018, was also under threat once again.
“It puts a panic in you,” Paradise Mayor Greg Bolin, who lost his home in 2018, told the Mercury News. “The smells, the ash falling — and there’s a lot of ash falling right now — everything is reminiscent of that day. It just makes you feel — here we go again.”
Fox News' Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.