FEMA Threatens Harm to Victims of Paradise
More than 100 Camp Fire victims have been ordered from their properties after federal officials threatened not to pay for debris cleanup of devastated Butte County communities, citing health and safety issues.
At an emotional meeting Monday morning, Paradise town officials rescinded a December urgency ordinance that had allowed property owners to live temporarily in trailers or RVs on their burned properties.
The scene was repeated in the afternoon at an emergency Butte County Board of Supervisors meeting, as county leaders grappled with whether it is safe to live in the fire zone prior to cleanup.
City and county officials said they were acting under duress, fearing the state would lose an expected $1.7 billion in federal cleanup aid if they continue to allow people to live on burned property.
Paradise Mayor Jody Jones said Federal Emergency Management Agency officials contacted local officials last week and told them FEMA would not reimburse the state for cleanup – as previously agreed upon – if the burned parcels are deemed safe already for habitation. via SacBee
In the tally of death and destruction from California’s Camp fire, officials confirm that 56 people died, 130 are missing and 8,800 homes have been destroyed in the town of Paradise. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports from Chico, California, where a Walmart parking lot is now home to hundreds of evacuees who are left with nothing and unsure of where to go.