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Author Topic: Wildfires in Paradise, California  (Read 1277 times)

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Dante

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Wildfires in Paradise, California
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Hi folks, just a quick update - the worst fire to ever hit California still rages after gutting the tiny town of Paradise, California.

My parents, my brother, and my sister all live(d) in Paradise, California. My sister's house is gone, just a fireplace surrounded by ashes and a shell of a car in the driveway. Strangely, the mailbox stands on it's wooden post. Maybe we should build houses of metal on wooden posts?

My parents' and brother's house were right in the epicenter of the blaze as it was blown across a small plateau full of homes and trees for fuel. It looks like a b*mb went off. Nothing left but car shells and tree trunks. We have no evidence yet, but we're pretty sure their homes did not survive. It's a mess. The worst fear of that little town actually happened. There will be over a hundred casualties, to be sure, most of them elderly and disabled. The fire swept the town in two hours, the evacuation plans were planned on a worst-case-scenario of six. High winds moved the fire extremely fast, and cars sat bumper to bumper in darkness at 9:30am. It was chaos.

I checked Google maps for traffic and every road out was locked up. I saw a shorter route for my dad, and texted him. He took it, got out quicker, but also got separated from my brother. Great. He drove through flames that were crossing the road, with a trailer behind him. Thank God that trailer didn't catch fire, he and mom are living in it now. My brother is living with me, and I took their older dog home because the trailer stairs were not good for her hips. My sister is hopping from friend to friend with her husband, her kids are grown and out of the house. Her dog and two cats are missing.

Here are pix of my sister's house, before/after
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rnolan

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Hey Dante, so sorry to hear  :facepalm: , I'm so glad your family survived ok, very traumatic experience.  FWIW you probably know we get very bad bush fires here, the 2003 fires in Canberra still have me traumatised. Now I freak every time I smell a risk reduction burn...I hope your sisters dog and cats turn up.
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van Sinn

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

Indeed, very dramatic events. I'm happy for your family.
I only vaguely remember large fires here in DK back in the seventies, but nothing like the Californian of Australian ones.
BTW, for really big long-running fires, look to the Siberian Taiga - of course, no dense population..
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Dante

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

We got a pic of my parents' house yesterday
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MarshallJMP

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Oh my god, this is really terrible, it's also been on the news here for days. Do they have an insurance for this? Here in Belgium you need to have a " fire insurance" if you are the owner of the house.
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Kim

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

Very sad to hear.  Seems like the wildfires are becoming a more common occurrence in California these last few years.  Best of luck, safety, and health to you and yours, Dante.   :'(
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uraniumwilly

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Very sorry to hear of this. Both my mother and niece are now housing their family/friends who lost their homes in the fire. While I was born and currently live in the bay area, I grew up in the Paradise/Chico area. Others, friends I've known also lost their homes.

As I said in the "Start Here" forum, I just ran away from the smoke that's poisoning the bay area and elsewhere in the state. It was actually physically making me and my wife sick.

The really tough part for me is watching the videos of people escaping the horror. Grim.
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Zilthy

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Sorry for your family's loss Dante, but glad that everyone is safe.  I hope your sister is doing okay, I know my cats are the absolutely only thing that I would care about in my house, and that loss would be difficult.
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rabidgerry

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

Really terrible news Dante, man I hope everything, and everyone is ok.

Total horrific events happening over there and I hope they get sorted soon.  These fires have been worse than ever last few years,  they really need some better solutions other than what we have right now.

Even in Ireland we had fires in this summer on mountains started deliberate by assholes ruining natural important nature and wildlife.  WTF is wrong with people?
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Dante

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

SIX MONTHS LATER:

My brother and I now live in a much larger house, which works...sort of....he's my brother, and I still wanna kick his arse every now & then for being stupid.

My sister and her husband followed the lead of my parents and bought a trailer to kind of 'hold up' while they rebuild on their charred property. They call it their 'tiny home' and seem to be adapting well to the situation. Insurance paid for the trailer, and the rebuild of their house, and they're paying off debts while they have a few months of 'rent free' living (again, thanks to the insurance money paying for their trailer park rent).

My Mom is not doing well. She was showing some signs of dementia or alzheimer's or something (undiagnosed) just before the fire. The shock of the fire triggered something and she just can't cope. She's worried constantly, cries about the littlest thing (ever seen your mom cry? it sucks), and is just a mess. We're currently seeing medical professionals to help - I'll keep you posted.

Dad is a rock, but he's starting to crack. He's still moving forward with the rebuild, but also exploring other options....sometimes elsewhere. I told him not to give mom too many things to think about, we'll talk more later.

Happy Mother's Day
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bunkyloo

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »

I'm sorry Dante I have friends and family up that way too. some luckier than others it seems youre family got hit worst. I will keep you and youre family in my prayers.
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van Sinn

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Re: Wildfires in Paradise, California
« Reply #11 on: Time Format »

I can relate to your family's situation. I too live in a camper on a trailer park.
It takes some mental stamina living in a 6 sq meter living room/kitchen area + 3 sqm bedroom.
I hope your dad can cope with the situation until the rebuild is complete.

The worst part of either such a fire, or, as in my case, the financial crisis + what the bank did, is loosing almost all belongings, which is essentially loosing one's history.
I have constant flashbacks to what I used to have, and it can never come back. New stuff, sure, but history gone..
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