Council outlaws price gouging in wake of Camp Fire Dearth of rental housing is big problem in and for Chico

photo by Karen Laslo

Steve Depa

by Dave Waddell

Chico landlords who price-gouge in the aftermath of the devastating Camp Fire will be in violation of an emergency ordinance passed unanimously today by the City Council.

Chico City Manager Mark Orme told the Council that “city staff received multiple reports of significant price increases on rentals and other goods and services” in the wake of the inferno that has annihilated Paradise and become the most destructive fire in California history. The Camp Fire has consumed more than 140,000 acres, destroyed 9,700 homes and left at least 63 people dead and in excess of 600 missing. More than 52,000 people were evacuated. read more

Parking lot now a pop-up encampment County residents struggle to help tide of people displaced from Camp Fire

photo by Karen Laslo

First day of Camp Fire

by Leslie Layton

At Chico’s Walmart parking lot, you see the new homeless: Several hundred people, some living out of RVs, some out of cars, some out of tents, some with nothing more than a few blankets. This is what a community borne of disaster looks like: Food vendors who want to give, not sell. Guitar-strumming teenagers, scientologists, massage chairs and chaplains.

This is where many displaced people who were already living on the edge – of canyons, of finances, of California’s blue political culture –lodged when the Camp Fire swept through their communities, and here as elsewhere, disaster response has been underway. Chicoans pull in with boxed donations and trailers hauled from other cities deposit piles of used clothing and worn shoes. read more