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Paradise Repopulation Efforts in the Works

The Butte County Sheriff's Office hopes to open areas of the upper ridge later this week.

Posted: Dec 4, 2018 12:17 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - The Butte County Sheriff's Office hopes to open areas of the upper ridge later this week.

Many people on areas of the ridge have been able to return home this week, but there are still residents in Paradise waiting for the OK to check on their homes and community. 

Action News Now reporter Stephanie Lin spoke with residents eager to head home as well as emergency personnel working to make the area safe to repopulate. 

Thousands of personnel from state and federal agencies are still working to assess the damage caused by the Camp Fire. 

"The utility lines that have been damaged need to be removed," said Brandon Vaccaro, public information officer for the town of Paradise. "The poles need to be removed. We have many, many, many trees - a massive amount of trees - that were damaged by the fire. They not only need to be inspected but then removed." 

Once the work is done to ensure that the areas are safe to return, residents will be allowed to return. 

"Once the community has been made reasonably safe and all of our cooperators - about 20 of them - buy off on the area being safe and they're willing to sign off on it, then we will be able to lift those evacuations," he said.  

Although much of the town is being assessed for damage, there are still some areas that were not affected. 

Places like Paradise Intermediate School, some small businesses and houses in the area are still standing. 

"Hopefully some time by the middle of the week, ideally, we'll be able to lift zones that will allow people access to the upper ridge," Vaccaro said. 

These entities hope to lift these evacuations as soon as possible, with a goal of bringing Paradise back by Jan. 1.  

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