Paradise celebrates, continues rebuild on 3rd anniversary of Camp Fire

Local News

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — The first amenity to open back up in Paradise, one month after the Camp Fire, was the town ice rink.

Monday marks three years since the wildfire leveled the town and took 85 lives. Paradise is preparing to reopen that symbol of hope again.

Resilience is the word people in the Butte County town cling to as they honor the past today and pledge to make the days ahead count.

For the 3rd anniversary of the Camp Fire, Skyway Crossroad in town is lined with 85 American flags, one for each of the lives lost in that wildfire disaster.

Back in 2018, Pacific Gas and Electric Company equipment sparked bone-dry trees, igniting flames that eventually burned 14,000 homes and destroyed Paradise.

Wherever people were in town, they were asked to pause for 85 seconds, starting at 11:08 a.m. to pay tribute to those lost.

Lori and John Manninen fought hard to survive three years ago.

“We put all of our hoses together and made two 200-foot-long hoses and we saved four houses. My wife literally put out the house next door as it was catching on fire,” said John Manninen. “We’re really lucky to have neighbors come back, because it’s so desolate up here without somebody to talk to and share things with.”

“We’re rebuilding like crazy. We’ve got almost 1,100 homes rebuilt. A couple of hundred multiple family units are rebuilt,” said Paradise Mayor Steve Crowder. “We’ve got 2,000 permits applied for so by this time next year we should probably be around 10,000 in population. We were 27,000 before the fire. We were probably less than 2,000 after the fire, so we’re making great strides.”

Crowder gives much credit to all the people, roughly 3,500 of them who come to his town every day to help put it back together like those working on the ice rink.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't miss

Latest News

More News