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Authorities search for victims in flattened town of Paradise after Camp Fire’s devastation

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Authorities search for victims in flattened town of Paradise after Camp Fire’s devastation

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PARADISE, CALIFORNIA — Authorities on Saturday continued their grim task of searching for Camp Fire victims in Paradise, their footsteps crunching across burned debris as they investigated property by property.

With so many houses destroyed by the fire, most inspections are initially cursory, with trained search-and-rescue teams following up later for a more comprehensive survey.

The town remains entirely evacuated, with virtually no residents remaining. A small army of firefighters, police officers and utility workers is the only sign of life. The power is still out, and wild deer are foraging in the few gardens remaining green.

LIVE UPDATES: Camp Fire grows to 100,000 acres, threatens Oroville

In the Save Mart grocery store parking lot, Butte County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Evans, 42, quarterbacked search efforts. With phones and internet access offline, Evans used a set of paper maps to dispatch deputies on search missions.

The Northern California town of Paradise was a burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on the road. These cars were at the Super Shopper Auto. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was a burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on the road. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was a burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on the road. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was a burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on the road. This Jeep burned up in the Edward Jones parking lot. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was a burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on the road.

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The Northern California town of Paradise was a burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on the road.

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The Northern California town of Paradise was a burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on the road.

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The Northern California town of Paradise was a burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on the road. This staircase is all that is left of a Century 21 office. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars on roads. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Northern California town of Paradise was burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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Utility poles blocks a lane on Pearson Road a day after the Camp Fire ripped through the Northern California city of Paradise. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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An image from a NASA earth satellite from 10:45 a.m. Thursday shows the extent of the Camp Fire. The photo uses shortwave-infrared light to highlight the active fire.
The Northern California town of Paradise was burned ghost town on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, a day after the Camp Fire swept through. Most of the businesses on the Skyway were destroyed. Some schools were burned out. People escaping the fire abandoned their cars. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A map shows the Camp Fire boundary as of Saturday morning, posted at the incident command center at the Silver Dollar Fair grounds in Chico.
Lucille Salyers rests at the Chico Elks Lodge on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 where she is staying after being rescued by Oroville police from her Magalia home during the Camp Fire.
A firefighter pumps water on the smoldering remains of a residence in Paradise, California on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
A firefighter pumps water on the smoldering remains of a residence on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018
Smoke and ash in the air blocked out the sun over Butte County on Friday Nov. 9, 2018 after the Camp Fire devastated the California county on Thursday.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
A service dog provides assistance Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, the day after the Camp Fire destroyed parts of Butte County, California. The fire flattened much of the town of Paradise on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Remains of the day: Ashes and rubble remain Friday after the Camp Fire devastated Paradise, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
John Simon , former battalion chief of Paradise Fire Department, worked Friday as a volunteer searching for pets displaced by the Camp Fire. The fire, which started in Butte County on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018, swiftly devastated Paradise, California.
The Camp Fire, which started in Butte County on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018, swiftly devastated Paradise, California.
The Camp Fire, which started in Butte County on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018, swiftly devastated Paradise, California.
The Camp Fire, which started in Butte County on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018, swiftly devastated Paradise, California.
The Camp Fire, which started in Butte County on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018, swiftly devastated Paradise, California.
The Camp Fire, which started in Butte County on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018, swiftly devastated Paradise, California.
Only a shell remained of this Paradise business after the Camp Fire devastated the area Thursday (Nov. 8, 2018).

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An SUV got stuck in a ditch off Paradise Road.

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Paradise residents Nicole Jolly (right) her mother Heidi Jolly (center) and friend Karen Davis don’t yet know if they lost their homes.

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A tree survived the the Camp Fire on its Paradise property, but the house to which it was attached didn't.

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Cars were left in roadways Thursday as the Camp Fire pushed into Paradise; a testament to the panic caused by the fire.

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Abandoned and charred vehicles line a road in Paradise Friday after the Camp Fire destroyed the area on Thursday.

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The scene in Paradise is near destruction. A number of homes and businesses made it through but many were lost.

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Flames still burned at this house on Friday after it was turned into rubble by the Camp Fire on Friday.

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A stray horse munches on grass as a Rocklin police officer watches over it. Those pets, farm animals and wildlife have been displaced by the Camp Fire's advance.

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Adventist Health Feather River Hospital still stands, but it lost a few clinics.

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Adventist Health Feather River Hospital lost some of its clinics.

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A Paradise home continued to smolder Friday morning after the Camp Fire destroyed the area.

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The restaurant on Clark Road in Paradise was destroyed
In this image provided by NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), smoke from the Camp Fire can seen spreading across northern California on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
In this satellite image taken by NASA's Landsat 8, smoke from the Camp Fire can be seen stretching far beyond Butte County on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
This residence in the Unique Acres subdivision burned to ash in the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018.

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A house off Sunset Oaks still stands, but its out-buildings were destroyed in the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018.

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Remnants of a telephone pole hang from their lines after they burned in the Camp Fire on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

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Daylit skies turn to night the closer one gets to Paradise, California. The Camp Fire burned the town Thursday night and into Friday morning. (Nov. 8-9, 2018)

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View from the North: The smoke plume from the Camp Fire Friday stretches over Butte County Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.

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An early-morning fire on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, gutted

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Fire fighters from Santa Clara County Fire, City of Los Gatos, refill their engine's water tank from a swimming pool in the Skansen subdivision along Skyway on Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.

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A structure burns near Skyway, about 2 miles north of Highway 99 on Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.
The Camp Fire moves south along Skyway near Chico Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.

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The Camp Fire moves south along Skyway near Chico Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.
A structure burns near Skyway, about 2 miles north of Highway 99 on Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.
A structure burns near Skyway, about 2 miles north of Highway 99 on Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.

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Clay Campbell of Santa Clara County Fire, City of Cupertino, puts water on a burning house on Oak Ridge Drive in the Skansen subdivision on Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.

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A structure burns near Skyway, about 2 miles north of Highway 99 on Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.

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A structure in the Skansen subdivision along Skyway burns in the Camp Fire early Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.

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A garage door frame stands after the building to which it was attached burned in the Camp Fire on Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018.

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A house in the Skansen subdivision on Oak Ridge Drive near the Skyway in Paradise burns early Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A house in the Skansen subdivision on Oak Ridge Drive near the Skyway in Paradise burns early Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A house in the Skansen subdivision on Oak Ridge Drive near the Skyway in Paradise burns early Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A house in the Skansen subdivision on Oak Ridge Drive near the Skyway in Paradise burns early Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A house in the Skansen subdivision on Oak Ridge Drive near the Skyway in Paradise burns early Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A house in the Skansen subdivision on Oak Ridge Drive near the Skyway in Paradise burns early Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A Cupertino firefighter puts out flames early Friday morning at a house along Oak Ridge Drive in the Skansen subdivision by the Skyway in Paradise. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A Cupertino firefighter puts out flames early Friday morning at a house along Oak Ridge Drive in the Skansen subdivision by the Skyway in Paradise. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A Cupertino firefighter puts out flames early Friday morning at a house along Oak Ridge Drive in the Skansen subdivision by the Skyway in Paradise. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A Cupertino firefighter puts out flames early Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018 at a home along Oak Ridge Drive in the Skansen subdivision by the Skyway in Paradise. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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A structure burns near Skyway about 2 miles north of

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Firefighters battle the Camp Fire as it tears through Paradise, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Tens of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire Thursday in Northern California, some clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the flames that forced the evacuation of an entire town and destroyed hundreds of structures. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) ORG XMIT: CANB133
epaselect epa07152472 Fire rages through neighborhoods as the Camp Fire burns out of control through Paradise, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California, USA, 08 November 2018. The nearby communities of Pulga, Paradise and Concow, have been ordered to evacuate the area.  EPA-EFE/PETER DASILVA ORG XMIT: PDS01
A fire fighter take cover as high winds whip embers, as the Camp Fire burned out of control through Paradise, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California, on Nov. 8, 2018.
This is all that’s left of the McDonald’s restaurant on Lark Road in Paradise.

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Power poles and trees were down all over town in Paradise due to the Camp Fire.

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The Safeway shopping center on Clark Road in Paradise continued to burn until late Thursday evening.

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The Camp Fire burns late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Camp Fire burns late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Camp Fire burns late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Camp Fire burns late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Camp Fire burns late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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Structures burn on the west side of Skyway about 2 miles north of Highway 99 east of Chico.
Structures burn on the west side of Skyway about 2 miles north of Highway 99 east of Chico.
A building burns on the west side of Skyway about 2 miles north of Highway 99 east of Chico.
A building burns on the west side of Skyway about 2 miles north of Highway 99 east of Chico.
The Camp Fire burns a car Thursday night on the west side of Skyway about 2 miles north of Highway 99 east of Chico.
The Camp Fire burns late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Camp Fire burns late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Camp Fire burns late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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Firefighters do a back burn to stop the aggressive Camp Fire late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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Firefighters do a back burn to stop the aggressive Camp Fire late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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Firefighters do a back burn to stop the aggressive Camp Fire late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018 east of Chico, California. (Hung T. Vu/Special to the Record Searchlight)

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The Camp Fire burns off Highway 99 south of Chico late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018.

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The wind was pushing the flames east, away from Chico late Thursday night, Nov. 8, 2018.

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The Camp Fire burned in a field off East 20th Street in Chico on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

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Homes burn on Spanish Garden Drive east of Chico on Thursday night as the Camp Fire rages out of control.

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Camp Fire burns in Paradise on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. It forced the closure of a segment of Highway 70.
The Camp Fire burns in Butte County on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Jane Latham and Ed Van Der Linden stand in front of their motorhome in the Chico Mall parking lot. The couple rescued others from the Camp Fire on Thursday.

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A pilot with the California Highway Patrol Valley Division Air Operations captured this aerial view of the Camp Fire on Thursday.
Camp Fire roars into Paradise after evacuations empty the town.
View of the Camp Fire burning in Paradise from Thorntree Drive near Chico Airport
View of the Camp Fire burning in Paradise from Thorntree Drive near Chico Airport
Smoke from the Camp Fire blankets Chico State University campus
Smoke from the Camp Fire blankets Chico State University campus
Smoke from the Camp Fire blankets Chico State University campus
Elisa Rose of Chico took this photo of smoke from the Camp Fire a few miles northwest of Paradise.
Elisa Rose of Chico took this photo of smoke from the Camp Fire a few miles northwest of Paradise.
David Becker took this photo Thursday morning of the Camp Fire plume at the Little Chico Creek Elementary School in Chico.
The Camp Fire was estimated to be 18,000 acres by Thursday afternoon, Nov. 8, 2018.
There are dozens of families in parking lots around Chico. They fled the Camp Fire in Paradise. The fire broke out about 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

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Some families evacuated out of Paradise gathered Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 in the parking lot at the Chico Mall.

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Smoke from the Camp Fire, burning in the Feather River Canyon near Paradise, Calif., darkens the sky Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Smoke from the Camp Fire, burning in the Feather River Canyon near Paradise, Calif., darkens the sky above the Butte College sig in Oroville, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Smoke from the Camp Fire, burning in the Feather River Canyon near Paradise, Calif., darkens the sky as seen from Highway 99 near Marysville, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Elaine Byrd-Irwin took this photo of the smoke from the Camp Fire at 9 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 from her Chico home.
View of the Camp Fire smoke plume from Chico State University 9 to 11 a.m.
View of the Camp Fire smoke plume from Chico State University 9 to 11 a.m.
View of the Camp Fire smoke plume from Chico State University 9 to 11 a.m.
Highway 99 north of Chico is jammed on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 as Paradise, California residents evacuate due to the Camp Fire.

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View of Camp Fire in Paradise from Chico at 9:15 a.m. Thursday.
View of Camp Fire burning in Paradise from Chico at 8 a.m. Thursday.
View of Camp Fire burning in Paradise from Chico at 8 a.m. Thursday.
Camp Fire looking east and southeast of Chico at 10:43 a.m. on Thursday.
Camp Fire looking east and southeast of Chico at 10:43 a.m. on Thursday.
Camp Fire looking east and southeast of Chico at 10:43 a.m. on Thursday.
Camp Fire looking east and southeast of Chico at 10:43 a.m. on Thursday.
The massive plume from the Camp Fire, burning in the Feather River Canyon and near Paradise, wafts over the Sacramento Valley as seen from Chico on Thursday morning. (David Little -- Enterprise-Record)
The Camp Fire forced Paradise residents to evacuate on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
The Camp Fire forced Paradise residents to evacuate on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
The Camp Fire forced Paradise residents to evacuate on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
The Camp Fire burns in Butte County on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.
Ava Rosaire and her pets evacuate from the Paradise area during the Camp Fire.
Ava Rosaire and her pets evacuate from the Paradise area during the Camp Fire.
Ava Rosaire and her pets evacuate from the Paradise area during the Camp Fire.
Ava Rosaire and her pets evacuate from the Paradise area during the Camp Fire.
Explosion of the Camp Fire in 35 critical minutes as seen from Nevada Fire Cameras.

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“We’re going old school today,” he said with a laugh.

Laughs are hard to come by for Evans right now: Everything he owns was destroyed by the fire. His whole neighborhood is gone, as is his son’s school. His partner scooped up his son during the evacuation, and his wife was safely in nearby Chico.

“We have one car and the clothes we had on. Everything else is gone,” he said, in between breaks of radio chatter.

For Evans, the work gives him focus and a sense of purpose despite the destruction of his hometown.

“This is what I signed up for — to help people out,” he said. “This is what we do.”

MORE ON THE FIRE:

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