‘The whole town is gone.’ Drone video reveals the scale of fire destruction in Paradise
The last remaining residents who were displaced by the Camp Fire in Butte County are finally able to return to their homes and assess the damage from California’s most deadly and destructive wildfire.
All remaining evacuation orders for the town of Paradise and the unincorporated area Morgan Ridge B Zone were lifted for residents as of 9 a.m. Saturday, according to a joint press release from the Butte County Sheriff and Paradise Police departments. Restrictions will be lifted for nonresidents Sunday at 9 a.m.
Residents re-entering the Morgan Ridge area are advised to use Pearson Road via Clark Road to alleviate traffic congestion, the release said. Residents headed for the town of Paradise should use Skyway to re-enter zones 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9; Clark Road for zones 6, 7, 12 and 13; and Neal Road for zones 10 and 11.
Drivers entering the area are urged to use caution and slow down because utilities personnel and tree crews are still working in the area, the release said, adding that delays are to be expected.
The Camp Fire killed 86 people and destroyed about 14,000 residences, as well as nearly 5,000 other structures, since it ignited Nov. 8, according to CalFire. Officials are urging anyone entering the area to do so with caution and to be prepared.
“Prior to returning home, residents are encouraged to take steps to ensure they have food, water, and fuel for their vehicles,” the release said. “Residents are advised not to use generators to power buildings or structures due to potential back feeding of electrical lines.”
Residents should not live in destroyed areas until they have been cleared of hazardous waste and structural ash and debris by Butte County Environmental Health, the release said. Some areas also are at a greater risk of flash floods and mud and debris flows.
More information the re-entry process can be found here.