WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The Camp Fire has totally devastated Paradise, California, demolishing 149,000 acres of land while the number of missing and the dead rise.
- So far, 1,276 people still remain missing, while 5 additional bodies were recovered on Saturday.
- Scores of residents evacuation on November 8 were burned on foot or in cars as they fled their homes.
California’s Camp Fire is the state’s most destructive wildfire ever recorded. Local officials have reported that eleven days after 46,000 people fled their homes from the town of Paradise, 149,000 acres have already been razed to the ground.
Former Paradise resident Eric Smith said that it looked like a bomb exploded in his hometown. Although he, his mom and stepfather evacuated in time, his uncle is still among the 1,276 who remain missing. Nevertheless, Smith said local authorities should not be blamed for the panicked evacuation.
“The fire was burning 80 football fields a minute, with only one way in and out of here. I don’t know how could they have organized anything,” he said.
Countless residents fled on foot or in cars but many were burned alive. It remains unknown how many didn’t get out in time. As law enforcement officers and search-and-rescue volunteers search for victims and evaluate what structures remain, five additional bodies were recovered on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the residents who were able to escape and find shelter continue to breathe the thick smoke, the worst air in the world. No timetables yet were given by officials for residents to return to their homes.
At a press conference on Saturday, Kory Honea Butte County Sheriff said: “We have to do due diligence in searching areas for human remains. This is a daunting task.”
Looking back on the Nov. 8 evacuation, Honea said that evacuating an entire city without ‘chaos and difficulty’ would have been impossible. Nevertheless, he said that thousands of lives were saved due to people coming down at an orderly fashion during the evacuation, which was quite remarkable given that they were under an extremely scary situation.
Skyview Blvd remains a wasteland, destroyed beyond recognition. Only a limited few have access to the town that includes firefighters, law enforcement officials, animal rescue volunteers and journalists. They were also cautioned by Cal Fire workers to be careful because anything can fall down.
On Saturday, President Trump who visited the site expressed his shock by the ‘total devastation’. “We’ve never seen anything like this. Hopefully this will be the last of these, because it was a really, really bad one,” said Trump.
But the president mistakenly calls Paradise ‘Pleasure’ after touring one of the areas devastated by wildfires.
Animal rescue volunteers have been driving from house to house leaving out food for cats and dogs that were left behind during evacuation. Through the week, pets have been picked up and sent to shelters.
Meanwhile, displaced residents in the neighboring city of Chico gather to discuss next steps saying they want to rebuild while others don’t want to go back.
Source: Daily Beast