BREAKING NEWS CAL FIRE determines cause of 2 Shasta County fires to be arson Full Story

Paradise's Underground Infrastructure Future

We check in with the progress the Town of Paradise has made to get all of its utilities underground as people rebuild.

Posted: Nov 8, 2019 7:00 AM
Updated: Nov 8, 2019 4:54 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - "I got the keys to this place and never thought that literally one year to the day, I'd be evacuating my house," said Angela Alford.

When the Sheriff's Office lifted the Camp Fire evacuation order -- Angela Alford looked over the rubble where her home once stood– but saw a future much brighter than the destruction.

"I'm going to have a bigger kitchen, the first thing I'm probably going to make is cupcakes, salmon, I'll probably be feeding half the Town of Paradise the first day I get home," Alford said. "I've been Googling and Pinteresting things that I want to do for the yard… I'm just excited to have a house back again."

Alford says she's not afraid to rebuild in a high fire danger zone; things will be different this time.

"Putting power lines and any utilities underground is going to be a real positive for the town. I have a feeling that we're going to be the town to look to for fire safety and it's going to be a town that people will learn from in the future for what to do and what not to do," Alford said.

As the Town of Paradise rebuilds after the Camp Fire, it asked PG&E to put its 190 miles of power lines underground.

"Paradise has been envisioning wider roads and other ways to make safer egress during an emergency – one of the things identified as a problem is downed powerlines during the fire," said PG&E Spokesperson Paul Moreno.

But it's not just power lines – the town wants all utilities underground.

Town Council passed a "dig once" ordinance" in October to limit trenching to once every 5 years per area.

It's a push to get cable, internet, and other service providers to put a conduit underground whenever PG&E digs a trench.

"A main driver for the ordinance is the less often they do the trenching, the less often they have to stop traffic for it."

AT&T and Comcast both let the town know they're thinking about going underground but are not ready to commit.

Brandon Delgado is nearly done rebuilding his home. The power lines on his street are already underground – so with the Dig Once Ordinance in place, it may be a while before cable and internet can follow suit.

"Right now the fiber-optic lines are on the new telephone poles. I just kind of assumed they would be put in place with the PG&E line. There's always that option to have satellite, but that's a big concern now that I think about it," Delgado said.

Plus - the underground utility plan will take several years to finish, so, for now, rebuilders have to buy a temporary power poll to get on the grid.

But many say the investment, and facing the unknown, is worth it.

"I have faith that it's all going to work out, I don't know if that means making some wrong decisions and having to go back and change decisions that were made, but I have faith that it will all work out," Delgado said.

"If we can at least learn the things not to do in the future, and be able to move forward and correct those mistakes and just make Paradise a better town, as far as safety, then those 86 lives that we lost weren't for nothing," Alford said.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 914888

Reported Deaths: 17460
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3020777027
Riverside669931303
San Bernardino633671073
Orange589801454
San Diego55210877
Kern33928416
Fresno30969439
Sacramento25601491
Santa Clara24425392
Alameda23471462
San Joaquin21729489
Contra Costa18763242
Stanislaus17714398
Tulare17590288
Ventura14330165
Imperial12967336
San Francisco12189140
Monterey1141990
San Mateo11198159
Santa Barbara9827122
Merced9531155
Sonoma9494136
Kings826483
Solano744576
Marin7096129
Madera503774
Placer420757
San Luis Obispo417432
Yolo321959
Butte309552
Santa Cruz280825
Napa196616
Shasta195431
Sutter186512
San Benito144215
El Dorado13514
Yuba132310
Mendocino113621
Tehama8928
Lassen7661
Lake69816
Glenn6713
Nevada6238
Humboldt56810
Colusa5516
Calaveras34218
Amador33116
Tuolumne2754
Inyo23115
Siskiyou2050
Del Norte1801
Mono1802
Mariposa792
Plumas700
Modoc360
Trinity270
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 48°
Oroville
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 51°
Paradise
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 48°
Chester
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 20°
Red Bluff
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 44°
Willows
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 48°
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.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events