Protesters hold rally at PG&E forum Utility giant seeks rate increase in wake of Camp Fire

photo by Karen Laslo
“This meeting should be about breaking up PG&E and taking local control,” said protester Susan Sullivan.

by Karen Laslo

Chico area residents spoke at two forums held July 18 on PG&E’s request for a rate increase, and some participated in a rally to protest the utility, which owns the electrical transmission lines that Cal Fire says caused the Camp Fire.

The forums were sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to take public comment on the request for a rate increase on gas and electricity that would take effect in January 2020. Several people spoke at the second forum at 6 p.m., including Camp Fire survivors, PG&E customers, and environmental and social justice advocates. All spoke against the rate increase. read more

Camp Fire survivor reflects on “levels of loss” "We are all refugees from this fire"

photo by Jessica Lewis
Paula Edgar

by Jessica Lewis

At about 8:30 a.m. Nov. 8, former Paradise resident Paula Edgar received a call from a friend on the other side of town, warning her that a fire had broken out.

“We didn’t even think we were in danger at first, but we thought we would start packing — just in case,” Edgar said.

When Edgar took her first load of items to her vehicle, she saw the flames making their way up the street toward her house. She realized then that this was something unlike anything the town had gone through before. read more

Hundreds gather in Paradise for #ClimateUprising ‘group portrait’ Survivors and supporters link Camp Fire to climate change

video by Guillermo Mash

#ClimateUprising helps Camp Fire survivors tell their stories Group calling for bipartisan climate action

photo courtesy of #ClimateUprising
John Kunst with wife Vicki Redridge-Kunst

by Leslie Layton

Like thousands of Californians, Los Angeles filmmaker Nirvan Mullick spent early November following wildfire news and worrying about friends and family who were in harm’s way.

Then, two developments forced him to think in a larger context: President Donald Trump visited Paradise and advised Californians to rake their forest floors, and Sen. Bernie Sanders announced a national town hall on climate change. The Washington, D.C., town hall would feature well-known experts and activists – climate change stars, so to speak. read more

Red Cross shelter evacuees struggle with urgent needs A writer asks if Camp Fire changed attitudes toward climate change

photo by Denise Minor

by Denise Minor

The sky was growing dark by the time I checked in at the Red Cross station on a recent afternoon, in front of the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico. Two volunteers in red vests greeted me and welcomed me to the shelter for Camp Fire evacuees.

Red Cross Communications Director Stephen Walsh offered to show me around. On that night there were about 700 people staying at the shelter, with some living in their recreational vehicles in the parking lot, some living in a tent city behind the RVs and some living in the three dormitories. All six of the Red Cross shelters that had been opened right after the fire had by then been consolidated to this one. read more

Camp Fire’s toxin runoff a threat to prized salmon While spring-run ‘vulnerable,’ wildlife to benefit long-term

photo courtesy of Friends of Butte Creek
2008 Butte Creek salmon run.

by Dave Waddell

Beyond the staggering human losses in last month’s devastating Camp Fire, another potential loser from the inferno’s toxic runoff are Butte Creek’s highly valued Chinook salmon during a particularly vulnerable time in their lifecycle.

Whether and to what extent that spring-run salmon population is poisoned by a potential witches’ brew of toxins flowing from the extremely hot wildfire won’t truly be known for about three years. That’s when most of the surviving salmon that today are juveniles are due to return from the Pacific Ocean to spawn and die in Butte Creek. read more