Your Questions Answered: Rebuilding Paradise

Feb 7, 2019

Damage from last November's Camp Fire.
Credit Noah Berger / AP Photo

In this post you’ll find the answers to all of your rebuilding questions. You can submit more, or ask questions about anything Camp Fire related on our website.

All answers in this post are attributed to Town of Paradise Administrative Analyst and Public Information Officer Colette Curtis.

What is the plan for rebuilding, if any?

Curtis said the Town of Paradise will definitely be putting together a plan for rebuilding. She said they’ve been given a planning consultant to work with in disaster recovery and the rebuilding processes.

“So that is what we’re beginning now,” she said. “Coming up with a vision for what the rebuild of Paradise will look like and that’s going to be driven by community input.”

Curtis said the first thing the town will do is reach out all of its residents to work toward coming up with how residents want the town to look. She said the communication process will have to be innovative since so many people are now dispersed all over the country, and many don’t have internet or mail.

“We need to make sure that we are reaching out to people where they are and in ways that they can be responsive to,” Curtis said.

What is the plan for wildfire prevention if rebuilt? How will that inform other foothill cities?

To answer the second part of the question about wildfire prevention and how it will inform foothill cities, Curtis said town officials see the Camp Fire disaster as a blueprint to help other communities that may go through something similar.

“We take that responsibility very seriously and so we’re looking at safety as an absolute number one priority, specifically for wildfires,” she said.

Curtis said the town knows wildfires aren’t going to go away and so it needs to rebuild in a way that protects the community the best it can.

“That’s going to be in the way we rebuild, changes that are made within town. Everything is on the table,” Curtis said.

Will Paradise be fixing a lot of their old problems like not having sewage system or underground utilities?

Curtis said, yes. In terms of underground utilities she said that is a goal that was actually
underway prior to the fire.

“We’re going to continue that effort in as many areas as we can,” she said.

“There are some areas that just can’t have utilities underground for a variety of reasons, but the areas that can have them underground we are going to pursue that.”

In terms of a sewage system Curtis said the town is studying various options. She said it will most likely connect downtown commercial areas to either the City of Chico or an all new Paradise plant.

“I’m a Paradise evacuee and I’m strongly considering rebuilding, but I’m overwhelmed by the processes. Where do I start?”

This is a question the town has gotten a lot, Curtis said. She said while building a house on its own is a process.

“Rebuilding a house is an even more difficult process because you’ve been through a tragedy,” Curtis said.

Curtis said the town is trying to make the process as easy as possible. She said they’ve created a sort of road map that they’ve made public. It’s located at the Paradise Town Hall, as well as staff who can walk you step- by-step through the process.