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Nov. 8

6:15 a.m.: PG&E reports an outage on the Caribou-Palermo 115 kilovolt transmission line in Butte County. The utility company has been monitoring Butte and other counties for the past 48 hours, since a red flag warning for severe fire weather in the area was issued by the National Weather Service.

6.29 a.m.: The Camp Fire starts in a wooded area of Jarbo Gap near Pulga, off Camp Creek Road.

6:33 a.m.: A PG&E Rock Creek Powerhouse worker makes a report of the fire to Butte County Cal Fire. The worker had been told about the fire by a field crew.

6:44 a.m.: Sunrise. The first firefighter on-scene is Captain Matt McKenzie. He can see the fire across Poe Dam but has no way of reaching it. McKenzie radios in. “This has got potential for a major incident,” he tells dispatch. More firefighters are on their way but the terrain is dangerous for firetrucks and air personnel cannot fly for at least 30 minutes after sunrise.

6:51 a.m.: The Camp Fire is already at 10 acres and growing.

7:05 a.m.: A possible second ignition site is reported.

7:14 a.m.: It is now 30 minutes after sunrise, but firefighting air personnel still cannot fly due to heavy winds in excess of 50 miles per hour.

7:23 a.m.: Butte County Sheriff tweets the first evacuation order for the town of Pulga.

7:35 a.m.: The first burning structure is reported in Concow.

7:46 a.m.: A state fire captain calls for an evacuation order for the eastern side of Paradise.

7:50 a.m.: Dispatchers begin to receive calls for multiple spot fires between Concow and Paradise.

7:59 a.m.: The Camp Fire enters Paradise.

8:00 a.m.: Staff start evacuating children at local schools. The owners of Ridgewood Mobile Home Park on Pentz Road go door-to-door, encouraging residents to leave. Several residents would die there, just feet from their front door.

8:03 a.m.: Butte County Sheriff tweets the first evacuation order for the eastern half of Paradise, including all of Pentz Road.

8:07 a.m.: A fallen tree blocks Hoffman Road, Concow’s main escape route, trapping a state fire crew and 20 residents. Eight die as the fire passes over them.

8:15 a.m.: Flames are reported at Feather River Hospital. Staff begins to evacuate patients.

8:41 a.m.: Butte County Sheriff tweets an evacuation order for zones 2, 6, 7 and 13 — along the western half of Pentz Road. It instructs residents to call 911 if they need help evacuating, but 911 lines are jammed with callers.

8:51 a.m.: Another evacuation order goes out, this time for zones 11 and 12 — on the south side of Paradise.

9:17 a.m.: A full-scale evacuation order is issued. Eventually, the towns of Paradise, Magalia, Centerville, Concow, Pulga, Butte Creek Canyon, Berry Creek and Yankee Hill would all be evacuated, and Butte Valley, Chico, Forest Ranch, Helltown, Inskip, Oroville and Stirling City would be threatened.

9:58 a.m.: People begin abandoning their cars on Skyway due to gridlock and encroaching flames and begin to walk. Fire and rescue crews have to push vehicles aside to gain clearance.

12:02 p.m.: Six hours after it started, the Camp Fire has already moved more than 17 miles. Smoke in the sky is so thick it blocks out the midday sun and casts Paradise into night.

2:45 p.m.: Winds suddenly change direction, pushing the fire south toward Oroville. Three Cal Fire firefighters, two prison inmates and a fire captain, trying to set back fires in the Butte College area, were overtaken on Rattlesnake Flats Road and sustained injuries and burns.

4:44 p.m.: As more and more people make it down the ridge, evacuation centers begin to fill up.

10:42 p.m.: Chico police evacuate areas of east Chico.

10:49 p.m.: Durham and the area south of Chico and west of Highway 99 gets evacuation orders, but firefighters are able to keep the fire east of the freeway.

The day ends with much of Paradise, Concow and Butte Creek Canyon destroyed. Thousands are homeless, but reports of what has burned and what hasn’t is still sketchy. 


Nov. 9

The fire is at 20,000 acres. Two thousand structures — including homes, businesses and schools — are already gone.

Around 5 a.m., another Cal Fire fire captain and firefighter protecting homes in the Magalia area are injured when a propane tank explodes near them.

Nov. 10

The Camp Fire is at 100,000 acres and more than 6,000 homes are incinerated.

Nov. 11

The death toll is officially raised to 42 — and rising — making the Camp Fire the single-deadliest wildfire in California history since the Griffith Park Fire in 1933. More than 200 people are still reported missing.

PG&E employees report seeing bullets and bullet holes on pole equipment from the Big Bend distribution line that is the suspected second point of ignition.

Nov. 13

A group of survivors file the first class-action lawsuit against PG&E.

Nov. 14

PG&E employees note deficiencies in electrical towers nearby the Camp Fire’s ignition point.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declares a public health emergency in California.

Nov. 15

More than two dozen evacuees living in emergency shelters are diagnosed with norovirus, a highly-contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

Nearly 12,000 structures are destroyed and 63 people are dead, announce officials at a press conference in Chico. The list of the missing is at a staggering 631.

Nov. 16

The fire is at 146,000 acres and 50 percent contained.

Chico experiences its worst air quality day on record, ever; and San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento are the world’s three most air-polluted cities.

The Chico City Council passes an emergency ordinance to prohibit price gouging on rent and goods in the city for the next six months.

Nov. 17

At its height, 5,596 firefighters, 622 engines, 75 water tenders, 101 fire crews, 103 bulldozers, 24 helicopters and 12 fixed-wing aircraft from all over the western United States have been deployed to fight the Camp Fire.

The death toll now stands at 76.

Paradise Mayor Jody Jones leads a tour of Paradise for President Donald Trump, then-Governor Jerry Brown, then-Governor-elect Gavin Newsom and FEMA director Brock Long.

Nov. 21

Heavy rains begin to fall, assisting the firefighting efforts and dampening the smoke.

Nov. 25

Cal Fire announces the fire has reached 100 percent containment.

The remains of 54 people have been identified and 296 more are still missing.

Tens of thousands of evacuees are still living in shelters, churches, trailers and hotels across the north state.

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