Tragedy in Paradise

This week was epic in its tragedy. Two major wildfires burning north and south in California. One, the Camp fire in Butte county is of special interest to me right now.

It is my family hometown. The place of origin of 6 generations of my family and the resting place of most of them. The town is, or was Paradise California. Populations 26,560, located below Bucks Lake and Butte Meadows just east of Chico.

The town history is available on Wikipedia, but my ancestors arrived about 1868. My great grandfather was a lawman and judge in the county and my great uncles were gifted engineers who build a lot of the states early infrastructure.

Paradise was my family's place to come home to. When William Pierce Leonard named the town in 1864 after a long dusty ride from Sacramento saying "boys, this is paradise". The name stuck and this was my family's piece of heaven.

My earliest memory's in life were of fishing the West Branch and camping near Resins Crossing with my cousin Jon off the "P" Line above Stirling City. My great grandmothers house was across from the frosty freeze off the Skyway near Lucky John Road. (Named I believe by my Great Uncle John Stanley, a brilliant engineer.)

Paradise was our playground. My cousins and I ran the town like a pack of wolves on our bikes. But now its gone. Swept over by a hell spawned by Satan himself. The tales of sorrow and despair recorded on the electronic billboards of Facebook and Instagram are heart wrenching. As I heard the panicked voice of my cousin Tula as she threw all she had into her Jeep and sped off down the road without her beloved pot belly pic who ran away in a panic hearing the mighty train of the fire bearing down on them. Leaving that pet infers the panic she was in. Run for you life!

Getting news is hard right now. We now know there has been loss of life and expect there will be more harrowing tails to come. We pray for all involved that they may be lifted up by Gods mercy and hear the call to lend a hand to the thousand of people affected so far.

More to come ….


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