On November 8, 2018, the people of Paradise, California awoke to a mottled gray sky and gusty winds. Soon the Camp Fire was upon them, gobbling up an acre a second. Less than two hours after the fire ignited, the town was engulfed in flames, the residents trapped in their homes and cars. By the next morning eighty-five people were dead.
As a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, Lizzie Johnson was there as the town of Paradise burned. She saw the smoldering rubble of a historic covered bridge and the beloved Black Bear Diner and she stayed long afterward. In her book Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire she provides a minute-by-minute account of the Camp Fire, following residents and first responders as they fight to save themselves and their town.
On October 18, 2021, Lizzie spoke with the Friends about her book and her personal experience with the Camp Fire. Click on the video below to watch our discussion!