California’s worst wildfire transforms city that didn’t burn

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California city has been struggling with unprecedented growth a year after a wildfire nearly wiped out the neighboring town of Paradise.

A fire on Nov. 8, 2018, destroyed roughly 19,000 buildings and killed 85 people. State officials say about 20,000 people moved to Chico, the closest big city.

People are struggling to find a place to live there.

City Manager Mark Orme says Chico also needs nearly half a billion dollars to improve infrastructure and hire enough police officers and firefighters to cover the surge in people.

He says Chico hasn’t been eligible for most federal and state grants because no buildings burned in the city.

Other changes have been subtle. It takes longer to get a table at restaurants, and traffic is heavier.

Categories: California News