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PHOTOS: Paradise, Before and After the Camp Fire

Fellowship Story Showcase

PHOTOS: Paradise, Before and After the Camp Fire

Picture of Laura Klivans
The site of Sabrina Hanes' home on Nov. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
The site of Sabrina Hanes' home on Nov. 13, 2018.
(Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
KQED News
Thursday, November 15, 2018
This summer, KQED spent time in Paradise reporting on issues involving childhood trauma. And during that time we documented the stories of community members and their connection to Paradise. We also photographed parts of the town and some of the surrounding communities.

But Paradise, a Butte County town of about 27,000, and several small surrounding communities, have been decimated by the Camp Fire, the deadliest, most destructive blaze in California history. The conflagration, which began on Nov. 8 at approximately 6:30 a.m., has killed at least 56 and destroyed more than 10,000 structures, including at least 8,650 single residence homes.

We went back to revisit some of those spots to photograph them again after the blaze. Those images are below.

Sabrina Hanes' home on Aug. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
Sabrina Hanes' home on Aug. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

KQED health reporter Laura Klivans and photographer Anne Wernikoff spent time with Sabrina Hanes in August for a story on childhood trauma. Hanes is a mother and student at Chico State University, and she's lived in Paradise since 2007. The home she rented for years was destroyed in the blaze. Hanes did not have renter's insurance as she could not afford it.

She described during the summer what she loved most about Paradise: "The community. It's just so amazing — everybody's just welcoming. There's so many different hiking trails and so many different community events. You just feel like you're home. My parents still live in the Bay Area, and they want me to come back, but I can't leave. It's amazing here."

When asked about what's challenging about Paradise. "Nothing," she answered.

Other buildings were inexplicably spared as areas around them went up in flames. Thousands of other structures were simply flattened.

When asked if she will move back to Paradise, Hanes said, "There's nothing left... there's really nothing to go back to."

A sign welcoming people to Paradise on State Route 191 on Aug. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
A sign welcoming people to Paradise on State Route 191 on Aug. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

The entrance to Paradise on State Route 191 on Nov. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
The entrance to Paradise on State Route 191 on Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

Paradise Surplus on Aug. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
Paradise Surplus on Aug. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

The site of Paradise Surplus on Nov. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
The site of Paradise Surplus on Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

Overlook near Paradise Lake in Magalia on Aug. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
Overlook near Paradise Lake in Magalia on Aug. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

Overlook near Paradise Lake in Magalia on Nov. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
Overlook near Paradise Lake in Magalia on Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

An iPhone repair shop on Aug 13, 2018 in Paradise. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
An iPhone repair shop on Aug 13, 2018 in Paradise. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

An iPhone repair shop on Nov. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
An iPhone repair shop on Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

Sierra Gem Company in June 2018. (Laura Klivans/KQED)
Sierra Gem Company in June 2018. (Photo: Laura Klivans/KQED)

Sierra Gem Company sign on Nov. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
Sierra Gem Company sign on Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

Site of the Sierra Gem Company on Nov. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
Site of the Sierra Gem Company on Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

Butte Creek Watershed Overlook in June 2018. (Laura Klivans/KQED)
Butte Creek Watershed Overlook in June 2018. (Photo: Laura Klivans/KQED)

Butte Creek Watershed Overlook on Nov. 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)
Butte Creek Watershed Overlook on Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo: Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

KQED's Don Clyde contributed to this report.

[This story was originally published by KQED News.]