As the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) actively continues recovery efforts throughout the state, previous disasters such as the Camp Fire allows for the opportunity to reflect on the resiliency of communities that have endured.
In the early morning hours of November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire ignited and quickly spread throughout Butte County, in the towns of Paradise, Magalia, Concow and Butte Creek Canyon.
Since then, Cal OES has coordinated the state’s recovery efforts to help the affected communities rebuild, recover and return home.
Cal OES worked with local, state, and national partners to coordinate the largest debris removal mission the state has ever seen. Hazardous waste, such as batteries, pesticides, lead, asbestos and structural debris were removed from 11,000 properties.
Cal OES assisted with the reopening of Bille Park in Paradise. This cherished family-friendly community space was fully re-opened in April 2021 after fire damage was repaired.
The legendary Honey Run Road, a favorite among cyclists and known for its breathtaking views of Butte County, was also reopened in 2021after Cal OES and partner agencies ensured the area was safe for the community.
More than 1,400 homes have been rebuilt and now nearly 10,000 people call Paradise home again.
Lessons learned from this wildfire lead to the creation of a statewide initiative to boost disaster preparedness among socially vulnerable and highly disaster-prone communities.
Through an investment from the State Legislature, at the request of Governor Gavin Newsom, Listos California began in 2019. This campaign, administered by Cal OES, has already informed millions statewide about disaster preparedness and the collective actions they can take to stay safe.
Listos California has been charged with not only preparing Californians before the next disaster, but also helping them have the tools to respond to and recover from an emergency. What the Camp Fire is still teaching us today is that the havoc of these disasters like – wildfires, earthquakes, floods – inevitably falls heaviest on those who are most at risk and often the hardest to reach. Cal OES, through the Listos California initiative, is ensuring all Californians have the life-saving resources, training, and support for when the next disaster strikes.