After Paradise

6:30 p.m. Thursdays

“After Paradise” is dedicated to post-Camp Fire recovery information. Each Thursday night, the NSPR News Team will bring you the latest from government officials, rescue organizations, financial planners, trauma experts and local reporters.

What do YOU need to know ?If you have questions about Camp Fire recovery ask them by using the form below.

Marc Albert

While not typical, Silvera’s circumstances are far from unique. Fine print in insurance policies can leave huge gaps. But resources remain. It’s not a clear path. As Chelsea Irvine of the US Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance Program explains, a rejection by FEMA and even a refusal by SBA, can actually clear the way for direct help, but time is running out.

Home Saved, But Losses Nevertheless Huge

Jan 6, 2019
Marc Albert

Nine billion dollars. It’s about what an aircraft carrier costs the Navy. It’s also about how much insurers are being asked to compensate their customers after California’s particularly destructive fire season. Meanwhile, some are finding navigating insurance policies a challenge, especially where damage isn’t total. As Reporter Laura Flynn explains: design, materials and luck saved a man’s home. But policy clauses may prevent him ever being able to rebuild a cherished workshop and other buildings.

Paradise High Landing At Chico Airport

Jan 6, 2019
Benjamin Spillman / RGJ

Since November 8th, Paradise High School students have been studying remotely, via computers. They'll return from winter break on Monday to a school in a new location... a former office building near the Chico airport. Laura Wenus reports on how one teacher is preparing for the change.


Marc Albert

First some critical news for Paradise residents: town hall has partly reopened, but just about the only available service is obtaining parcel maps showing the location of septic tanks and leach fields. Officials are encouraging residents to obtain and submit the map along with right of entry authorizations for debris removal. The maps will reduce the chance of clean-up crews disturbing or damaging tanks and leach fields.

Noah Berger / AP Photo

At its peak, nearly 2,200 animals, including livestock were in Butte County emergency animal shelters. This week 527 remain, 167 cats and 34 dogs. The remainder: birds and livestock. Tomorrow, January 4th, these temporary shelters close, so reporter Christal Smith checked in with Lisa Almaguar with the Butte County Public Health Department to find out what the plans are for those animals.  


Tonight on After Paradise - It’s been eight weeks since the Camp Fire started. Fire victims are running out of time to claim pets in the emergency shelter. Plus: their homes were saved, but that didn’t prevent insurance woes, we look for solutions and an in depth look at the mechanics of what made the Camp Fire so fast, so deadly and why it could happen again.


Tonight on After Paradise – it's been seven weeks since the Camp Fire started. In this episode we hear from three trauma experts about ways to cope, including why getting back into a routine is key to the healing process, how to know if you may be experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and how writing can be an effective treatment for trauma. Plus we hear from an artist working on a project she hopes will one day welcome returning Paradise residents home.

Jessie Mercer


If there is one thing people have in common through every disaster, it’s that every person processes trauma differently. For Jessie Mercer, the break from grief comes in the form of art. Her art studio in Paradise burned to the ground, as did her parents’ home. Now she’s using an object that almost everyone who escaped the fire was able to bring with them to create something new from the city’s ashes. She’s collected more than 3,000 keys that will become something of a memorial sculpture. NSPR’s Tess Vigeland spoke with Mercer at our studios. 


Noah Berger / AP Photo

Dr. James Pennebaker has spent years studying how people cope with trauma, both as individuals and as part of a community. He’s a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and is author of the book Writing To Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval. In his research Pennebaker has followed the after effects of the Loma Prieta earthquake, and towns that experienced mass shootings, among other events and shares what he’s found.



Noah Berger / AP Photo

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that can affect a subset of people after a traumatic event like the Camp Fire. Symptoms can include nightmares or having memories about the trauma when you’re trying not to think about it to getting emotionally upset, having your heart start to race, trembling, shaking, or even getting nauseous when thinking about it. Dr. Anka Vujanovic is the Director of the Trauma and Stress Studies Center at the University of Houston. She said while some are at risk for the condition, the majority of Camp Fire survivors will recover and not develop PTSD.