UKIAH, 11/8/19 — One year ago today a tragedy struck Paradise, California, one that reverberated across the state and nation. Eighty-five people are confirmed to have been killed in the fire, and over 18,000 structures were destroyed, making it the costliest disaster in the United States that year, and the deadliest wildfire in modern California history.
Today memorials were held across the state. In Chico, where many of the people displaced by the fire have moved, the community observed 85 seconds of silence, one for each person killed by the fire, and 85 homing pigeons were released.
On that day, the smoke from the Camp Fire drifted almost 100 miles to Mendocino County, where on the morning of the Nov. 8 it began to trickle in, sparking fears that yet another terrible fire had broken out in our own county. But by midday we knew that the fire casting its pall over Mendocino was in distant Paradise, and yet had created so much dark smoke that the the sky was darkened across the state. In Ukiah people used headlights at noon, and the temperature dropped precipitously, while over the next few days the air quality in southern Mendocino would the worst on Earth.
Here is our reporting from that day, and the following days: