The city of Paradise aims to purchase properties devastated by the 2018 Camp Fire and turn them into green spaces in order to stave off future disasters. Properties that are successfully purchased will be connected to existing park land thereby allowing more space to secure fire breaks.
The program has so far yielded about 300 acres with 500 acres more potentially in the pipeline. "There have been so many instances of these fires, people know that we have to do something different," says Dan Efseaff, Director of the Paradise Recreation and District. "Every single one of these properties we're looking at from the standpoint of, what can we do to limit the spread of fire, is this a staging area," Efseaff says. "I think it's going to make the community safer." He estimates $20 million more is needed to purchase enough parcels of land to make a difference in terms of fire protection.
The properties are largely hard to reach; down winding roads and steep inclines. The terrain makes it very difficult for firefighters to service any dwellings in the event of wildfires.
85 people perished in 2018's Camp Fire and around 14,000 homes were destroyed, many of them in Paradise.
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