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'The plan was out the window': How the Camp Fire became California’s deadliest

An ABC10 Originals investigation finds the Paradise area was caught with no plan to evacuate people from a disaster the size of the Camp Fire. Many were caught in the wildfire's path with no knowledge of the evacuation orders issued for them.

Brandon Rittiman

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PARADISE, California — Eighty five people died when the Camp Fire burned down the town of Paradise and the surrounding neighborhoods of Concow and Magalia on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

The fire forced the entire population to evacuate at once — an action emergency managers had actively avoided in their plans for handling wildfires.

There was no plan to handle an evacuation on this scale.

Some people became trapped, oblivious to the evacuation orders that had been issued for their homes.

Many had no warning as some notification systems went unused and others failed to reach large groups of people.

Credit: Michael Anthony Adams
Homes burn in the Camp Fire near Paradise, CA on November 8, 2018. When it burned down the town of Paradise, the Camp Fire became the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.