After Paradise

Ashley Bailey

Life is far from back to normal in Magalia, one of the communities hardest-hit by the Camp Fire.


But four months later, some routines are starting to fall back into place - such as kids going to school.


Artist Jessie Mercer is helping students at Pine Ridge School remember the ridge in a colorful way.


Mercer is known by many for her Key Project Tribute, where she collected house keys from Camp Fire survivors that will be used to create a memorial sculpture for the town once it’s rebuilt.

Noah Berger / AP Photo

Areas burnt by the Camp Fire are served by private wells and two water districts: Del Oro Water Company, which has three separate districts each with its’ own source, and the Paradise Irrigation District.  


Reese Crenshaw is an engineer with the state Division of Drinking Water and in charge of water testing in six North Valley counties. He said some of the concerns are receding. Del Oro’s Lime Saddle subdivision, which services areas along Pentz Road, draws its water from Lake Oroville. 


New Guidelines Suggest Water Issues More Serious

Mar 21, 2019
Joka 2000 / Flickr Creative Commons

After previously hearing that a sniff test was all one needed to detect potentially dangerous levels of benzene or other contaminants in fire zone water, Butte County Health officials this week released strict guidelines suggesting authorities may have earlier played down risks.  

After Paradise: Week 19

Mar 21, 2019

Tonight on After Paradise, it’s been 19 weeks since the Camp Fire started. New water contamination warnings raises more questions and concerns. Evacuees with few housing options were promised modular homes by the federal government, but three and a half months after the fire, is the progress only on paper? 

After Paradise: Week 18

Mar 14, 2019

Tonight on After Paradise, it’s been 18 weeks since the Camp Fire started. Tonight on “After Paradise” we hear about a new case management program in Butte County that’s helping connect Camp Fire survivors to resources they still need four months after the fire, we hear from two women who have returned to Paradise about what their lives are like living in a town of rubble with few others in it and we go to Magalia to learn how the Butte County Fire Safe Council is working to prevent fires from happening in the area in the future.  

Matt Fidler

These are some of the sounds of a forest thinning operation around the Paradise Pines Property Owners Association in Magalia.

Chipping up woody material removed from the forest and left on the ground as mulch. The goal is to return the forest’s condition to one that more resembles the forests that John Bidwell knew.

Ashley Bailey

Emily Holtom is a stay-at-home mom and owns one of the rare houses in Paradise that is still standing after the Camp Fire.


She, her husband, Spencer, their six kids and dog just moved here about nine months ago from Southern California for Spencer's job.


Ashley Bailey

Peggy Beltran grew up in Paradise and her house is among the scattered homes that were spared by the Camp Fire.

She and her husband, Eddie, her parents and aunt were able to move back to the house a couple weeks after the fire.

Peggy is a respiratory therapist and a clinical instructor at Butte College.


Noah Berger / AP Photo

More than four months after the Camp Fire, resources that were immediately available almost seem to be gone. Volunteers are few. Donations have slowed. Shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers have shuttered. But there is help out there if you need it. That’s the bottom line.

After Paradise: Week 17

Mar 7, 2019

Tonight on After Paradise, it’s been 17 weeks since the Camp Fire started. In this episode we hear from those determined to return to Paradise that hold the first building permits that have been issued in the town, and we hear from a veterinarian who was on the front lines helping save animals after the Camp Fire erupted. We also talk to Meredith Cooper, managing editor at the Chico News & Review about her recent story on the widespread contamination in Paradise’s water system.