hacker emblem
jaegerfesting
Search | Tags | Photos | Flights | Gas Mileage | Log in

Paradise

Started: 2021-10-11 21:22:28

Submitted: 2021-10-11 21:31:08

Visibility: World-readable

A book review
Paradise: One town's struggle to survive an American wildfire
Paradise: One town's struggle to survive an American wildfire

Paradise: One Town's Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire by Lizzie Johnson.

This is a disaster movie, in book form — and it's a true story.

On a dry windy November morning in 2018, a poorly-maintained PG&E transmission line sparked a fire that caught in drought-dry grass and burned through forests thick after centuries of forest mismanagement. High winds pushed the fire straight towards the town of Paradise. An accident of geography put the town right in the fire's path.

This book lays out all of the factors that helped turn the fire into a cataclysm, and tells the stories of people trying to escape the flames. Most of the people in the town that morning escaped and survived, but 85 didn't. We see the firefighters trying to respond to the fire, and the town government trying to respond to the fire bigger than anything they can imagine. It's a gripping page-turner.

On the day I bought this book, the sky was pale and the sun was a pallid yellow from yet another wildfire burning hundreds of miles away in the Sierra foothills in California, a sobering reminder that we're still in the opening scenes of the big disaster movie unfolding in real time around us.

E175 wing descends towards SMF into the Camp Fire haze
E175 wing descends towards SMF into the Camp Fire haze
if this were a type of made-in-a-can spaghetti sauce, it'd be called
"Classic Style Ken"
- Scott J. Galvin, 08 March 2000