CONCOW — Before the Camp Fire burned through the town of Paradise, it had destroyed the community of Camelot in nearby Concow.
“It moved very, very quickly into this area and unfortunately every residence within this little subdivision was completely consumed by this fire,” said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.
With narrow, winding roads, escaping the fire was virtually impossible.
With no way to leave, Honea says residents, with the instruction of one of his deputies, huddled together in a grass field.
“Told people there was no way out,” Honea said. “They watched as the fire burned around them. They would move to one side or the other, depending on how intense the flames were.”
Others stayed alive by jumping into a nearby lake.
Camelot largely remains a ghost town in the aftermath of the Camp Fire. It’s clear the community will never look like it did before the fire.
For Honea, that’s not pessimism. It’s reality.
“I’m proud of the people in my community that believe they’re strong, believe that they are resilient, but we have been dealt a serious blow,” he told FOX40. “But I don’t know if everybody’s gonna want to come back.”