All members of the New California State Butte County Committee and their families are safe. Those in the Paradise area were evacuated and are either with family members or in Red Cross Shelters.
A staggering number of 6,700 homes and buildings have been destroyed and over 56,000 people have been displaced.
The winds are expected to pick up and cause the fire to become a threat to the areas of Paradise, Magalia, Oroville and Chico, CA.
The fire started just before 6:00 am Thursday November 8, 2018 in the Feather River canyon in the Pulga Gap area of the canyon. With winds coming from the east to the west gusted to 49 miles per hour whipped the fire up 2,000 feet of sheer mountain face and crowned over the ridge and into the Paradise area. The winds carried large embers in advance of the fire which led to fast advance of the fire into Paradise. Within minutes the entire town of Paradise was in flames.
Members of the New California State Butte County Committee reported there was no warning of the fire itself until the Butte County Sheriffs were going door to door warning residents.
To add to the confusion members reported that PGE who had planned to turn off power to Paradise as a fire safety precaution did not turn off the power. Yet as the fire began to consume Paradise PGE turned off the power leaving evacuees in the dark surrounded by fire.
"They knew of the high winds yet they didn't turn off the power until the fire was burning us out then they turned off the power leaving us in the dark" .....Member Butte County New California State movement committee member.
There are reports many people did not get out of their homes in time and are believed lost. To make matters worst as people got into their cars to leave the fire had already surrounded the roads out of town. With smoke and fire and super heated air people became disoriented and did not escaped from the fire as cars were disabled or crashed. Many people began flee on foot. There are reports there are a large number of cars with the human remains inside.