Remembering the Camp Fire
The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history
The Camp Fire started on Thursday, November 8, 2018, in Northern California's Butte County. Ignited by a faulty electric transmission line, the fire originated above several communities and an east wind drove the fire downhill through developed areas. After exhibiting extreme fire spread, fireline intensity, and spotting behaviors through the rural community of Concow, an urban firestorm formed in the foothill town of Paradise.
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.
Fire resources were stretched as the fire began on the same day as the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire in Southern California. Camp Fire resource requests alone equaled the entire 6,000 Cal Fire full-time fire professionals.
At the height of deployment, there were 5,596 firefighters battling the blaze.
CAL FIRE will never forget the individuals who lost their lives, or the bravery of those who responded.
Into the Fire
A retrospective on the first several hours of the Camp Fire, as told by the CAL FIRE Fire Fighters and civilians who were there that day.
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