After Paradise

After Paradise: Week 10

11 hours ago

Tonight on After Paradise - It’s been 10 weeks since the Camp Fire started. PG&E faces staggering legal costs. California’s largest utility now seeking bankruptcy protection. We explore what it means for Camp Fire survivor and ratepayers.

After Paradise: Choir Soothes Hurt Souls

Jan 11, 2019
Art Strong Butte County

In the aftermath of a disaster, psychologists say that artistic expression can often help victims as they struggle to rebuild their lives. From painting to music, art can bring comfort to people in need. In that vein, students from five local high schools – many of them displaced by the fire – have formed a choir that’s performing for other affected kids. They want to use the power of song to heal their community. Laura Wenus has our story.


After Paradise: Fieri Paying It Forward

Jan 11, 2019
Guy Fieri / Instagram

Last November, celebrity chef Guy Fieri of the Food Network show Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, came to Chico to cook Thanksgiving dinner for evacuees and responders. After serving some 75-hundred pounds of turkey, he went around town and sampled some of the city’s dining options.

Noah Berger / AP Photo

More than eight million tons of debris has to come down from the ridge before rebuilding can start in Paradise, Magalia and Concow. The debate over where to put that waste is ongoing. But we now know who will be overseeing the process.

John Lochen / AP Photo

We talked about the finite patience among fire victims and the larger community in the fire’s wake. The outpouring of unequivocal generosity during the disaster continues, but appears more muted with the passage of time. It turns out, instant solidarity and sudden comradery is quite common in a catastrophe, as are the fissures and disputes that arise as emergencies fade into memory. Laird Easton wrote about this in a recent Washington Post Op-ed piece. He's a professor of history at Cal state here in Chico, where he teaches a course on disaster. He came to our studios this week.


Noah Berger / AP Photo

It was evident at a Paradise town council meeting Tuesday that just about everyone wants to get back to normal, but complexity and uncertainty are fraying nerves.







California members of Congress were also caught off guard by the president’s tweet, among them, Congressman Doug LaMalfa, a Republican representing the first district, which encompasses the burn area. I spoke with LaMalfa yesterday, shortly after the president issued his order.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo


The operating word for fire victims this week was confusion. Yesterday, President Trump tweeted that he had ordered FEMA to stop sending money to California, citing forest mismanagement. That was news to FEMA, and to pretty much everyone else. NSPR’s Christal Smith went to the Disaster Recovery Center here in Chico to get reaction from fire survivors.


After Paradise: Week 9

Jan 10, 2019

Tonight on After Paradise - It’s been nine weeks since the Camp Fire started. More uncertainty for fire victims as President Trump announces he’s ordered FEMA to cut off aid to California. We ask local politicians how real the threat is. We look at how the fire damaged water lines in Paradise, and what that means for water quality on the ridge. Also, art plays a role in helping the community recover, we’ll hear from local high schoolers and quilters lifting spirits through song and sewing.


Noah Berger / AP Photo

One of the questions so many people have about the Camp Fire is how and why it behaved the way it did -- especially the speed with which it moved through the canyons. So we decided to ask two experts. Earlier, I was joined in studio by pyro-geographer Zeke Lunder who's been on incident management teams for more than 20 years... he's a mapping specialist with the US Forest Service and Cal Fire. And Don Henkins... he's a professor at Cal State Chico and also a pyro-geographer. I started by asking Zeke what elements came together to make the Camp Fire so fast and so deadly.