After being displaced by the Camp fire in Northern California, almost a thousand people have set up makeshift housing in a Walmart parking lot.
Almost a thousand people have had to make a Walmart parking lot their home in Chico, California, as a result of the catastrophic Camp fire in Northern California. Many fled with just the clothes on their back, and most have no home to return to in the wake of the most destructive wildfire in the states history. To make matters worse, some of the shelters for evacuees are experiencing an outbreak of norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus. These photos show the limited facilities on offer for families left sitting in the still-smoky air, trying to figure out what comes next.
President Donald Trump greets California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom as he arrives on Air Force One at Beale Air Force Base for a visit to areas impacted by the wildfires, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. At left is Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long and at right is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., greeting Gov. Jerry Brown. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Magalia resident Carla Bounds, left, kisses her dog, Gracie, with Mark Kempton in the drivers seat of their vehicle.
Meanwhile, just down the road and across Pacific Coast Highway, some 50 firefighters were gathered at an auxiliary base camp set up at Bluff Park. The emergency responders set up sleeping tents on the bluff, with food and water stations and a place to coordinate as they prepare for whatever may come next as Southern California gears for potential rains and the havoc that can cause following wildfires.
Twice? PG&E alerts state regulators of second power line failure near Camp Fire mystery second start
Claudia Bennett, right, hands out freshly-baked muffins. For the grace of God, I can be here, said Bennett.
Magalia residents Michael Crowder, 64, left, his wife, Maggie Missere-Crowder, 64, right, and their pit bull, Coco, sit by their tent. Michael Crowder, who has severe heart issues, is concerned about how sleeping in a tent with poor air quality could affect his health.
Paradise resident Elizabeth Erle sorts through donated clothes on Nov. 16. That day, it felt like I was going through real-life hell, said Erle. It was the most terrifying experience that any human being can endure. Erle was displaced by the fire and is now staying with a friend in their RV in Yuba City.
Oroville resident Dakota Reiley has been sleeping in a tent nearby the parking lot. Literally, these people lost homes and have nowhere to go, said Reiley. Reiley left his home in Oroville after the city was placed under a voluntary evacuation order.
Chico resident Destiny Davis, 19, pushes a cart of blankets that her family hand-stitched for people displaced by the Camp fire.
Magalia resident James Sallaz leans on his friends truck, which he has been sleeping in. About 10 minutes after we were told to evacuate, we saw the flames coming up over towards our fence, said Sallaz. He hitched a ride with a Butte County sheriff out of Magalia into Chico when the Camp fire broke out last week.
Paradise resident Elizabeth Erle embraces her dog. I actually thought I was going to die, said Erle. I held on my cross, I looked at my dog, and I said we were going to get out. I really do believe God was behind me.
Magalia residents Lili Batres, 13, and her father, Luis, drive off after packing up their belongings from their tent at the Walmart parking lot. Luis Batres has severe asthma, and his family was moved into a nearby shelter later that night.
CONCOW — A senior PG&E official alerted state regulators late Friday that one of the utility’s distribution lines suffered a power outage about 15 minutes after the deadly Camp Fire roared to life on the morning of Nov. 8.
The outage occurred on the Big Bend 12kV distribution line in Concow at 6:45 a.m. that morning, according to the the California Public Utilities Commission filing obtained by the Bay Area News Group. That malfunction could be linked to the mysterious “second start” of the Camp Fire that Cal Fire is investigating in that area east of Concow reservoir.
This regulatory filing marks the second admission by PG&E that its electrical infrastructure failed in the immediate area of the Camp Fire origin. In addition, radio transmissions indicate a downed transmission wire may have caused the initial fire near Poe Dam, and a second start may have been captured on a firewatch camera around 7 a.m. in the Concow area.
President Donald Trump tours Paradise, Calif., with Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Paradise Mayor Jody Jones and FEMA Administrator Brock Long, right, during a visit to a neighborhood impacted by the wildfires, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“On Nov. 8, 2018, at approximately 0645 hours, PG&E experienced an outage on the Big Bend 1101 12kV Circuit in Butte County,” PG&E Senior Director of Regulatory Relations Meredith Allen wrote in a brief summary. “Cal Fire has collected PG&E equipment on that circuit. Cal Fire has secured a location near PG&E facilities on that circuit.”
“As more information became available about this location, we determined it was important to share that information with our regulator,” PG&E spokesman John Kaufman said in a statement Saturday. He said the utility is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, but declined to expand on the second incident.
The company alerted regulators Friday just days after the Chico Enterprise-Record reported on a possible second ignition of the Camp Fire after they found security guards blocking road access in the area. Fire radio transmissions reviewed by the Bay Area News Group indicated that shortly after 7:04 a.m. a firewatch camera captured flames from a possible “second start” and firefighters were dispatched to Rim Road, which crisscrosses PG&E power lines.
No official cause has been determined for the Camp Fire which is the deadliest and most destructive blaze in state history. A Cal Fire spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.