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CA Camp Fire Lessons Learned Webinar
September 2, 2021 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California‘s history and the most expensive natural disaster in the world in 2018 in terms of insured losses.
The fire caused at least 85 civilian fatalities and injured 12 civilians and five firefighters. It covered an area of 153,336 acres and destroyed more than 18,000 structures, with most of the destruction occurring within the first four hours. The towns of Paradise and Concow were almost completely destroyed, each losing about 95% of their structures.
From November 8 to December 1, an encampment formed in a vacant lot next to the Walmart store in nearby Chico. The camp was in addition to motel room vouchers from FEMA and ten shelters established by the Red Cross and churches to house evacuees. The camp population swelled to over a thousand people. Butte County has a persistent homeless population of 7,500 people; many reside in Chico, and some campers were revealed as resident homeless people who did not live in the fire zone. On December 1, facilities at the Butte County Fairgrounds became available, whereupon the Walmart camp was closed and residents relocated.
The Mass Care and Human Services Committee will be hosting Shelby Boston, Director at Butte County Dept. of Employment and Social Services. Ms. Boston began her social services career with Butte County in 1998 as a child protective services social worker. Over the past 18 years she has held numerous leadership positions including Assistant Director of Adult and Children’s Services within DESS. Throughout her career Shelby has worked diligently to develop and implement programs that meet the needs of the communities’ most vulnerable and at risk families. Ms. Boston will present on her agencies support to the response and recovery efforts related to the Camp Fire and connect her experience to risks and threats typical of this region.