In two separate incidents, a pair of fire captains, a firefighter, and a pair of prison inmate firefighters were burned. Identification of the deceased was hampered by the fragmentary condition of many bodies. Ten of 18 dentists in Paradise lost their offices and patient records in the fire. Two of the dead were identified from the serial numbers on artificial joints, 15 from dental records, five from fingerprints and 50 from DNA.
Funerals and benefits were delayed by the identification difficulties. The community of Concow and the town of Paradise were destroyed within the first six hours of the fire,   losing an estimated 95 percent of their buildings. The town of Magalia also suffered substantial damage, and the community of Pulga , California suffered some. Nearly 19, buildings were destroyed, most of them homes, along with five public schools in Paradise, a rest home, churches, part of Feather River hospital, a Christmas tree farm, a large shopping center anchored by a Safeway , several fast food chains, such as Black Bear Diner and McDonald's , and numerous small businesses, as well.
The smoke from the fire resulted in widespread air pollution throughout the San Francisco Bay Area  and Central Valley ,  prompting the closure of public schools in five Bay Area counties and dozens of districts in the Sacramento metropolitan area on November Recovery efforts were slowed as crews tested burned debris for environmental contaminants such as asbestos , volatile organic compounds , heavy metals , arsenic , dioxins , and other hazardous materials that may have burned or spread in the fire.
A strong warning was issued against rehabitation, noting, "[you] will be exposed to hazardous materials. However, with additional information it was clear there was a significant risk to public health and in early February , FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer David Samaniego forced policymakers to retract the accommodation and remove residents from the burn area, those policymakers released an announcement, "The Town of Paradise and Butte County were informed that emergency ordinances intended to provide a process for citizens to return to their properties prior to removal of the debris may impact federal funding.
The disaster assistance is predicated on the need to remedy health and safety hazards that pose an immediate risk to citizens prior to living in recreational vehicles on their properties with structures burned during the Camp Fire. If the option is to choose federal money to rebuild the town, or the people to rebuild the town—choose the people".
Traffic jams on the few evacuation routes led to cars being abandoned while people evacuated on foot, causing at least four deaths when the fire overtook people who were trapped in their vehicles, as well as one person outside a vehicle. Others gathered in the nearby parking lot shared by a KMart and a Save Mart. The survival of some of those who sheltered in place has raised the question of whether in some scenarios last-minute mass evacuations provide the best outcomes, with some pointing to Australia's policy discouraging them, instituted following the Ash Wednesday brushfires in which many of the 75 dead were killed while trying to evacuate.
Many seniors were evacuated by passersby and neighbors, with at least one account of dozens of evacuees jumping into a reservoir to escape the flames. In May , NPR reported that more than 1, families who were displaced by the fire are still looking for housing six months later. Rural northern California has been experiencing a severe housing shortage and growing homelessness crisis, in part due to the fire.
In response to a notice given by the company, the California Department of Insurance reviewed and then placed it into liquidation. This allows the California Insurance Guarantee Association, a state guaranty association , to cover claims. The Department of Insurance will continue with a review of all insurers with a domicile in California so to determine the exposure of each to Camp Fire losses. This is the only known instance of an insurance company becoming insolvent from a single event. Prior to the fire, Chico had a housing vacancy rate of less than 3 percent.
The loss of several thousand residences placed additional strain on Butte County's housing market. Average list prices for homes were reported to have increased by more than 10 percent. On November 16, the Chico city council passed an emergency ordinance to prohibit price gouging in Chico, by preventing the cost of rent, goods or services from being increased by more than 10 percent for 6 months. District Judge James Donato will handle the estimation process for the claims of wildfire victims, including property, personal injury, and wrongful death.
The bankruptcy judge said that the costs to government agencies will not be subject to the estimation process because these costs can be calculated "down to the penny. Investigators believe that the failure of a badly maintained steel hook holding up a high voltage line was a key cause of the fire.
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A distribution line in Concow malfunctioned a half hour later, which was considered as a possible second ignition source. While successful in the heroic feat of evacuating nearly the entire town of Paradise, first responders were limited by an insufficient number of cellular towers, which resulted in communication difficulties and reduced WiFi speed: "Paradise quickly lost its equipment, the California Public Utilities Commission confirmed.
Randall L. Only two dispatchers were on duty to field thousands of calls to Initial widespread confusion about reporting missing people limited the search for victims.
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The North Valley Animal Disaster Group worked with law enforcement and other shelters, rescue groups and independent operations to rescue and reunite pets and families, and established an animal shelter at the Chico Airport. Fire resources were stretched as the fire began on the same day as the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire in Southern California ; requiring on just the Camp Fire alone the equivalent of the entire 6, Cal Fire full-time fire professionals and both fires pulled resources from 17 states to respond.
By the second day of the fire, only half the fire resources had assembled. At the height of deployment, there were applied resources of 5, firefighters of these were prisoners  , engines, 75 water tenders, fire crews, bulldozers, 24 helicopters carrying gal buckets, and 12 fixed-wing aircraft on the fireline. An early morning fixed-wing air support offer pair of gal Air Tractor AT on the first day of the fire was declined. The California National Guard activated soldiers to assist,  including military police officers from the 49th Brigade to provide security and search for remains with the assistance of 22 cadaver dogs.
The th Sustainment Brigade constructed Alaska tents for temporary facilities. From November 8 to December 1, an encampment formed in a vacant lot next to the Walmart store in nearby Chico. Recovery efforts included supporting the mental health of Camp Fire victims, particularly the youth. The Camp Fire cleanup is currently the largest hazardous material cleanup in state history.
There are challenges—such as logging must be within a few months or the trees will begin to rot—these challenges are being tested through a pilot program. The Los Angeles Times reported the Camp Fire burned across an area burned to bare dirt by a hot burning wildfire ten years earlier, then salvage-logged ; fire ecologist Chad Hanson suggested brush piles and young trees left over after the salvage logging provided fast-burning fuels aiding the fire's rapid spread. Cal Fire states "Those kinds of geographic features are present in many foothill towns.
The following "political" statements came at a time when the Democrat party and California in particular were at odds with Republican President Trump. In September , California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill , which aimed to reduce the risk of power lines sparking fires in brush-covered and wooded areas, saying in his veto letter that the bill duplicated existing efforts.
SB had been unanimously approved by the state Legislature. The CPUC voted December 15, , to improve rules governing when utilities should disable power lines to reduce the risk of fires. Policymakers are looking at what options are available to harden the California energy distribution infrastructure against wildfires. California is reliant on a system of centralized electrical generation with distribution to end-users. Utilities, such as gas and fiber-optic, are usually buried; however, this is not without difficulties like utility strikes  and maintenance access issues.
As development and buildout of the State economy continues, that distribution system will expand, possibly doubling the current system in the next years. Policymakers will decide if an investment in underground distribution is equitable and if the existing distribution should be converted to underground as a single project or as a piecemeal replacement as sections of lines require replacement.
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A suggestion to reduce cost is to harden the sections of high energy lines through high wind areas upwind of residential communities in the wildland-urban interface, in particular, around river canyons pointing to those residential areas. On November 10, U. President, Donald Trump incorrectly     identified poor forest management as the cause of recent wildfires in the state, including the Camp Fire and the concurrent Woolsey Fire in Southern California. Trump elaborated on his claims in an interview with Chris Wallace and during his trip to Paradise, stating "you got to take care of the floors.
Fire experts rejected Trump's claims, noting Californians are experiencing unusually dry conditions and abnormally high fire danger. The first two building permits were reissued for Paradise after almost five months on March 28, Local public policymakers want to promote rebuilding with higher standards for fire-resistant construction, upgraded infrastructure, and using the recommended redesigns for enhanced fire safety which included expanded road capacity to increase evacuation capacity and to provide better access for emergency equipment.
The Paradise 7th Day Adventist church was completely destroyed, as was part of its adjacent academy. Estimates were that at least homes of Adventist Health employees in Paradise had been destroyed. When power was restored to the site, the church began providing free potable water to neighbors. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Campfire. The Camp Fire as seen from the Landsat 8 satellite on November 8, Play media.
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December 14, Retrieved December 17, KQED News. Cal Fire. November 8, ABC News. November 13, November 16, November 25, Retrieved November 25, November 21, Retrieved November 21, Retrieved January 2, Since , 13 large wildfires burned in the footprint of the Camp Fire". Retrieved January 1, Wildfire Today. July 9, Retrieved November 13, Butte County. Ramona Sentinel. Sacramento Bee. August 10, San Jose Mercury News. Bay Area News Group. NBC Bay Area. California Public Utilities Commission. Here's how". Retrieved December 15, Red Flag Warning — Twitter.
Retrieved November 9, ABC7 San Francisco. December 7, January 18, CBS Sacramento. The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 18, Retrieved November 18, BBC News. November 9, Retrieved November 11, Retrieved November 8, November 12, The Washington Post. Retrieved November 22, November 11, Retrieved November 14, SF Chronicle. Retrieved August 2, November 14, Retrieved November 17, The Associated Press.
Retrieved November 19, November 17, Retrieved November 20, Retrieved August 1, December 13, He is the author of a favorably-reviewed book about Utah where he grew up and received his graduate education. He has done a prodigious amount of research of both scientific and historical documents about the trees of California. His writing style is engaging and he steps back from his subject to muse about the philosophical issues raised by his findings.
His book deserves the respect of both tree and native plant advocates. This was an excellent report and I loved the history in it. The photo of the burned houses really is telling too. Thank you. As I write, I am looking out the window from where we have lived for a significant part of every year, on Albany Hill.
I enjoy the graceful drape and the shimmer of the sunlight on the huge Eucalyptus between us and the bay, on a gorgeous day. I stopped for a moment and looked out another window at the hundreds of Eucalypts on another side and realize that anyone suggesting that there is not diversity around Eucalypts simply cannot have set foot in such a forest. The air is pungent with the smell of the vital oil in the trees; yet, these trees are not more inherently flammable than other trees. The soil around these trees is moist below the top layer since Eucalypts have a root system developed to retain water for long periods of time, even in very hot weather, so I feel safer in this forest than in some others.
Birds are everywhere. The vegetation is of many types, right up around many tree trunks. But I had a realization this morning that perhaps some people have trouble seeing the diversity of vegetation because they are of a consumer culture that suggests that, if something is not massive like some of these trees , it is insignificant.
Decades ago, I thought of desert as flat, plain, dead. I woke up after a night in a tent to crisp, cool air, and soon saw a tiny flower.
Before that, I had never bothered to look. My understanding of deserts was turned on its head. They have stories to tell us. You are indeed lucky to have a view of Albany Hill, one of our beauty spots in the East Bay. One of the unique things about Albany Hill is that there is eucalyptus forest on the top that meets an oak woodland on its north side.
This is one of the many places in the Bay Area where we can see with our own eyes that eucalyptus does not intrude into native woodlands. Historically, oak woodland occupied only the north side of hills where they were protected from the prevailing wind from the southwest and where greater shade retained more moisture in the soil. Good question. Many native plant advocates also believe that native plants cannot survive in the shade and leaf litter of eucalyptus. There is some truth to that because many native plants do not tolerate shade because there were virtually no trees in native San Francisco Bay Area so plants are adapted to full sun.
However, there are many native plants growing now in the eucalyptus forest, so it is not entirely true. The painting by Jack Cassinetto? Who gave you the right to post on your web site? Did you simply pick up from the web? Unless you have a written right from the owner you will need to remove it from your web site.
That artwork is the work of my husband and it is not from the early s. The photo belongs to whomever took it, probably the gallery where you took it from. Please remove the photo. Connie Cassinetto. I have deleted the photo. I apologize for my error. Thank you for publishing the link to the Million Trees blog. Here are a couple more references about the role of eucalyptus in the Oakland wildfire that may interest you. You are commenting using your WordPress.
Paradise goes up in flames
You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Sign me up! Blog at WordPress. Death of a Million Trees. Saving trees from needless destruction in the San Francisco Bay Area. Exhibit at Oakland Museum of California. Like this: Like Loading Tony Holiday permalink.