California has been hit hard in recent years by wildfires, but the deadliest and most destructive one in its history was the Camp Fire. On the morning of November 8, 2018, a spark turned into a firestorm that barrelled through the town of Paradise, killing 85 people, causing several firefighter injuries and displacing 50,000 residents.
As we near the two-year anniversary of the Camp Fire, CalMatters examines the issues and the experiences around California wildfires through the lens of Rebuilding Paradise, a new documentary by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard. Inspired by his mother-in-law who used to live in Paradise, Howard’s film combines heart-pounding visuals of fast-moving wildfire, heart-breaking takes of people whose lives were ravaged by disaster, and a heart-warming story about a shaken community that finds resiliency by coming together to recover what was lost and start rebuilding.
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 21
Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
In our two-part virtual event, we’ll discuss what rebuilding and resiliency means in fire-prone California and the Western U.S.
CalMatters environment reporter Rachel Becker will moderate a Q&A with people involved in the film, discussing the Camp Fire’s massive impact on a town, its residents and California history. Participants will share their experiences while filming “Rebuilding,” lessons they’ve learned along the way, and advice they have for residents of other Paradise-like hamlets around the Western U.S.
Julie Cart, CalMatters’ Pulitzer-Prize-winning environment reporter, will then interview some of the people tasked with preparing California for its year-round fire season and for making Golden State residents more resilient. From forest management and fire prevention to home hardening and higher insurance premiums, the discussion will explore practical solutions, challenges and ideal strategies.
We’d love to hear from you so we can organize the discussion around your questions. You can submit your questions here.