VICE on HBO: The Deadliest Wildfire in California History

Gianna Toboni Vice Correspondent Camp Fire Paradise, California
Gianna Toboni, Vice Correspondent, talks with a firefighter at the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.

VICE News has produced a very good segment about the Camp Fire, which burned over 153,000 acres, destroyed 18,804 structures, and resulted in 85 fatalities in November, 2018. It became the most destructive and deadliest wildfire in the recorded history of California.

This video was uploaded to YouTube January 30, 2019. Since then investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection have determined that the fire was caused by a Pacific Gas and Electric power line.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

4 thoughts on “VICE on HBO: The Deadliest Wildfire in California History”

  1. Most important factor for wildfire preparedness is access.
    Access for, emergency response, access for evacuation, access for traffic circulation, access for fire firefighters.
    That’s why there is fire access road minimum road standards.
    The question I present is, why would county government officials prevent a road from being improved to meet these minimum standards?
    Good question!
    Especially considering this same county portrays that wildfire safety preparedness is a priority for that county.

  2. Unprepared, seriously ? Can you explain how anyone could be prepared for a wildfire in late fall, in the mountains, driven by a 50 mph wind. Let me a clue my friend, no amount of preperation whatsoever would have saved us. My house was new, my neighbors, all of which are gone. Buildings that were constructed of block, brick and metal were destroyed. The small amount of structures that survived was dumb luck nothing more. PG&E knew they were having problems with the transmission lines that started the fire. They warned us that we would loose our power due to high winds 2 days prior to the fire and subsequently ignored their own warnings. The reverse 911 system failed, perhaps because of the damage to the fiber optic lines, who knows ? All I can tell you for sure is 85 people were killed , 24000 people lost everything and the former CEO of PG&E received 12 million in severance.

  3. We live in California, in a very high wildfire risk area.
    County officials have prevented/stopped us from having a safe fire access road through our community to our residences.
    Even though they have placed improving wildfire safety as a county priority.
    And even though though there is an existing public dedicated roadway that is supposed to be exactly for that purpose.
    Go figure!

  4. This is another good “documentary” regarding the Camp Fire. Now I am not casting aspersions but at 03:45 when the CalFire Deputy Chief is asked about the destructive nature of the Camp Fire, he replies, “Since this is my home …. .”
    Again and again, more frequently now, we hear and read about the need to mitigate serious issues relating to the Wildland Urban Interface and yet here is a top wildfire official, someone who is probably acutely aware of these issues, saying (I presume) that his home is Paradise, California. So, ….
    Why was Paradise so unprepared and why are so many communities particularly throughout the west so unprepared? Is it just human nature to be NIMBY when it comes to disasters? If a slap in the face does not awaken people to the fact that, along with their concomitant blind reliance on governmental emergency response IT WILL HAPPEN some day, what without government control (god forbid) will it take? Common sense? Hah! LR


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