CHICO (CBS13) — The disaster response is just getting underway for survivors of the Camp Fire.
A small city is quickly being assembled at the Chico Airport by the California Office of Emergency Services for staging supplies and housing several hundred responders arriving to help victims.
Eighty tractor trailers are lined up packed with blankets, cots, masks, food and other items for fire victims.
“This is a major disaster,” CalOES staging supervisor Mark Ackerman said. “That’s the only way you can put it.”
CBS13’s Steve Large asked Ackerman about how the supplies get to the victims.
“I’m told that there are people staying at a Walmart parking lot,” Large said “’Will you deliver to a Walmart parking lot?’ If the “SOC” gives me a mission to deliver to the moon — I’m buying a rocket ship.”
The “SOC” or State Operations Center, directs the supplies at the staging area to go to any shelter, law enforcement agency, church, or non-profit that requests it.
Another example of the sheer size of the operation is massive tents that are now going up. The tents will house the hundreds of responders coming to help fire victims get signed up for relief. Each one of the tents sleeps 10.
“I don’t sleep at a hotel at a disaster, that hotel room is for survivors,” Ackerman said.
The Camp Fire Disaster Recovery Center is set to open Friday. People who need to sign up for any kind of help, ranging from FEMA aid to a new driver’s license, go there for help.
It will be located at the closed Sears store at 1982 East 20th Street in Chico.