CHICO (KPIX 5) — Residents of Paradise, the town ravaged by the Camp Fire, held a town hall meeting in Chico Tuesday evening, since the Paradise City Hall was out of commission, with no running power or water.
People in Paradise also couldn’t attend the meeting because of the damages, and emotions ran high.
“I don’t know, I’m lost. I find myself in the city of Chico,” laughed Michael Zuccolillo, a member of the Paradise Town Council. Though he has a sense of humor about the situation, he said it’s been hard.
There’s not a lot left in the town of Paradise, but that didn’t stop Zuccolillo and the rest of the Town Council from holding its first post-fire meeting.
“Paradise is not acres of charcoal–it’s about the people. We should love Paradise,” said Ward Habriel at the meeting. Habriel lost his home to the fire, as did each council member.
The Town Council is set on rebuilding Paradise, but they know it’s an uphill battle and a task that’s impossible to accomplish alone.
KPIX 5 asked Zuccolillo if Paradise has the funds and infrastructure to rebuild.
“No,” he said. “We are going to have to have help from the fed–from the state.”
The California Office of Emergency Services and FEMA both pledged their support at the meeting, while others made their lack of support clear.
“My criticism today is: where are you?” said Paradise resident Michael Orr.
Orr also called for Paradise mayor Jody Jones’s resignation, blaming her for a chaotic evacuation and a death toll that continues to climb.
“Well people died, yes. It did not go perfectly. I don’t know that we could have had a plan that was better. We couldn’t get everyone out because you can’t fit 26,000 people out of the road at the same time,” said Jones, who was just re-elected two days before the Camp Fire erupted.
Jones said she absolutely will not resign and will continue to do her job.