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Camp Fire victims return home as evacuation orders are lifted

For the first time since the Camp Fire devastated parts of Northern California, residents in the worst-hit a...

Posted: Dec 17, 2018 1:11 AM
Updated: Dec 17, 2018 1:11 AM

For the first time since the Camp Fire devastated parts of Northern California, residents in the worst-hit areas are allowed to return to their homes.

On Saturday at 9 a.m., the evacuation orders were lifted for residents in the town of Paradise and other unincorporated areas hit by the wildfire, Butte County officials said in a statement. The restrictions for non-residents would be lifted at 9 a.m. Sunday.

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The Camp Fire began November 8 and burned through more than 153,000 acres in Butte County, killing at least 86 people and destroying nearly 14,000 structures. It was contained November 25 after becoming the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.

Wildfire cause still being investigated

Cal Fire, the state's forestry and fire protection agency, has said the cause of the Camp Fire is still under investigation.

A federal judge ordered California utility company Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) to explain any potential role it played causing the deadly Camp Fire and any other major wildfires in the state. The company has until Dec. 31 to submit written answers to federal officials, according to court documents.

PG&E said its crews found a damaged transmission tower and holes in a power pole at separate locations near the site where the Camp Fire started.

In a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E said one of its employees called 911 on November 8 -- the day the deadly wildfire began -- after spotting flames in the vicinity of a high-voltage tower near the town of Pulga in Butte County.

That fire was reported almost 15 minutes after the utility experienced a transmission line outage at the same location, the company said. It was also around the same time the Camp Fire broke out.

Meredith E. Allen, PG&E's senior director of regulatory relations, explained that details about the incidents are preliminary and they remain under investigation.

"The cause of these incidents has not been determined and may not be fully understood until additional information becomes available, including information that can only be obtained through examination and testing of the equipment retained by Cal Fire," Allen wrote to regulators.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 910438

Reported Deaths: 17386
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3006147000
Riverside667321295
San Bernardino627741072
Orange587251447
San Diego54941870
Kern33881416
Fresno30858436
Sacramento25445484
Santa Clara24313388
Alameda23391461
San Joaquin21630489
Contra Costa18694242
Stanislaus17686397
Tulare17495286
Ventura14300164
Imperial12882336
San Francisco12152140
Monterey1139991
San Mateo11149159
Santa Barbara9814120
Merced9465155
Sonoma9402136
Kings824683
Solano738476
Marin7089128
Madera502074
Placer417857
San Luis Obispo414132
Yolo320759
Butte308752
Santa Cruz280225
Napa196215
Shasta188930
Sutter183712
San Benito144215
El Dorado13284
Yuba129310
Mendocino112921
Tehama8808
Lassen7661
Lake69515
Glenn6573
Nevada6168
Humboldt56710
Colusa5506
Calaveras34218
Amador33016
Tuolumne2714
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1930
Mono1802
Del Norte1781
Mariposa782
Plumas680
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 84°
Oroville
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 83°
Paradise
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 84°
Chester
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 64°
Red Bluff
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 86°
Willows
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 84°
Thankfully our windy, fire danger weather pattern is coming to an end over northern California. The wind will decrease to lighter breezes late tonight through tomorrow, and our fire danger won't be quite as extreme going forward.
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