The town of Paradise is still a disaster zone with only six percent of the debris from last year’s destructive Camp Fire hauled away, but more and more residents are returning to their homes as the government braces for the challenges facing them now and in the future, according to National Public Radio.
The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, leaving large patches of scorched earth, cars, and houses.
Before the wildfire, the population of Paradise was about 26,000, but five months after the disaster it’s only a few hundred people.
Officials warned the fire may have contaminated up to 173 miles of pipeline in the town’s water system with benzene, which is carcinogenic, and other volatile organic compounds.
So far preliminary tests have revealed nearly a third of the lines were contaminated but those were only carried out in 2 percent of the entire system.
Residents like Kyla Awalt have been forced to come back despite the uncertainties.
"As soon as the house was cleaned, our insurance company told us that we had to come home," said Awalt to NPR.
There is still no potable water in Paradise though, so even though […]