PARADISE (CBS13) — The wildfire that destroyed Berry Creek also forced the town of Paradise to issue its first evacuation warning since the Camp Fire.
Diane Mullin and her family are rebuilding their burned down Paradise home. They decided to evacuate after seeing the flames getting closer and closer.
“It was very unnerving,” Mullin said. “You don’t want to get caught in that same situation twice.”
Several of her family members have been diagnosed with PTSD after surviving the 2018 Camp Fire. This week’s fires had them all hyper-alert.
“It brought more focus, is what it did,” Mullin said. “It brought a ton more focus.”
Kevin Phillips is the Paradise town manager. With the Bear Fire, now known as the North Complex West Zone Fire, eight miles from Paradise Wednesday, an emergency operations center was opened inside Paradise Town Hall. An evacuation warning was also issued for part of Paradise.
“So this was really the first time that it’s triggered the people here,” Phillips said. “It looked like the same type of plume that the Camp Fire had, so it brought back a lot of memories for people up here.”
Of the 25,000 that lived in Paradise before the Camp Fire, only 5,000 are there now. Construction is everywhere, with 1,500 new home permits currently approved.
“We are not the least bit sorry we’re back,” Mullin said. “We love it.”
The Mullin family is ready to get into their new home. Even with a wildfire threat, they know may always force them to be ready to go.
“And we knew what was so critically important was that we all get out safe,” Mullin said.
The Camp Fire burned more than 18,000 structures and left 85 people dead. So far, the North Complex West Zone Fire has killed 10 people and burned more than 2,000 structures. Damage assessments are still underway.