John W. McDonough

The town of Paradise is the largest municipality in California without a sewer system.


The town has been studying options to build one for over fifty years, but the Camp Fire exacerbated this need. After studying several options, the town is now hoping to move forward with a plan to build a sewer system that connects to Chico’s facilities.


At a joint meeting between Butte County municipalities Wednesday, Katie Simmons, Disaster Recovery Director for the Town of Paradise, said the town’s ability to make a full recovery from the Camp Fire is constrained by its reliance on septic.

NSPR's Camp Fire Weekly Call: 1/30

Jan 30, 2020

On this week’s call: Paradise Spokeswoman Colette Curtis discusses the newly opened Building Resiliency Center, Butte County Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Casey Hatcher has the details on plan to help property owners remove fire-damaged trees endangering private roads, and Marcella Seay of the Upper Ridge Community Council discusses home insurance issues and a debate going on in Magalia about the size of homes and should smaller houses be allowed.   

NSPR's Camp Fire Weekly Call: 1/23

Jan 23, 2020

It’s again time for our weekly check in with representatives from agencies repairing damage left behind by the camp fire. 


Joining us: Paradise Spokeswoman Colette Curtis, Butte County Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Casey Hatcher, and for the first time, Charles Brooks of Rebuild Paradise.

Dark Clouds Over Paradise Schools

Jan 21, 2020
Rubina Hartwig / PUSD Transportation Director

Dramatic cuts and widespread layoffs could be coming to Paradise schools.


Officials say an announcement about major layoffs and deep cuts in the Paradise Unified School District could be just weeks away. 


How bad it will be is anyone’s guess. 

Camp Fire Survivors With Unmet Needs: Officials Want To Hear From You

Jan 14, 2020
John Locher / AP Photo

A new effort is being made to reconnect with Camp Fire survivors who may have fallen through the cracks.

The consortium of government, non-profit, religious and charitable organizations called the Camp Fire Long Term Recovery Group, will hold a dozen events through Jan. 24, hoping to quantify holes and gaps in recovery efforts so far.

Noah Berger / AP Photo

Those hoping to rebuild and return to Paradise are getting a little help navigating California’s notoriously deep paperwork.

Building a house isn’t easy. Especially, if you’ve never done it before. Acknowledging the complexity, potential pratfalls and frustration, a team of volunteers are now helping Camp Fire survivors plot their return.

A large helping of federal aid should help streamline and speed reconstruction in Paradise.  


This week the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a $300,000 grant was issued to the town to help recruit and hire a Disaster Recovery Manager. The funds are in addition to $75,000 committed locally.  

Noah Berger / AP Photo

Paradise officials say a surge in end of year building permit applications shows rising confidence and interest in reconstruction.


After the catastrophic Camp Fire more than a year ago, the resurrection of Paradise was anything but assured. Despite the odds, Colette Curtis spokeswoman for the Town of Paradise said many residents are moving quickly in an effort to rebuild.

PG&E Claim Deadline Is New Year’s Eve

Dec 21, 2019
Noah Berger / AP Photo


Previously extended, the deadline for filing a claim against Pacific Gas & Electric Company for wildfire-related loses expires at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

The deadline is part of the Northern California utility’s bankruptcy reorganization process. Anyone who lost income or property due to wildfire before January 29th of this year and believes PG&E is responsible, must file a claim for reimbursement through the courts.

Paradise Irrigation District Reports Solid Progress

Dec 20, 2019
All Trails

After the Camp Fire, damage and contamination to water lines in Paradise was extreme and considered nearly unprecedented. Just more than a year later, officials say restoration is well on its way. 


The contamination was caused by melting plastic pipes and meters. As water pressure dropped off during the inferno, a vacuum formed in the pipes, pulling toxic gases into the lines.