People on the ridge prep for fire season

Cal Fire says the risk is lower in the Camp Fire burn scar this year, but everyone still needs to be ready to evacuate.

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 5:17 PM
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 9:25 AM

PARADISE, Calif. - "When it was raining I felt comfortable but now that it's windy and warm? It's hard to feel particularly safe," said Neal Snidow, a 40-year Paradise resident.

What's left in the wake of the Camp Fire are skeletons of bushes and trees.

These major fuel sources likely won't reignite. But people who've moved back on the ridge aren't taking any chances.

"Every year you worry and wonder, but after the Camp Fire, you know it's more serious," Snidow said.

Seven months after the Camp Fire, thousands of survivors are back living in Paradise. Now it's hot, dry, windy, and tensions are running high.

Cal Fire says the Camp Fire cleared out the biggest threat: trees and brush. But there's a lot of new grass.

"Grass fires can move deceptively fast and we're asking the residents of Butte County, Town of Paradise to prepare for evacuation," said Paradise-Cal Fire Division Chief John Messina.

People are getting ready for the worst.

"It is different; people on our street are pretty conscious. Our neighbors have 3-acre lots and they treat them like parks now," Snidow said.

"Today they're doing logging on our 5 acres up in Coutelenc, then cleaning up the debris where the house was," said Paradise business owner Paul Lyons.

But they're not letting fear chase them out.

"If we plant trees that will be harvested on a normal basis, like cedars....if we can get back up here, start replanting?" Lyons mused.

"There really are no safe places now, there are just lucky places," Snidow said.

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