Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire, by Lizzie Johnson
On November 8, 2018, the people of Paradise, California awoke to a mottled gray sky and gusty winds. Soon the Camp Fire was upon them, gobbling up an acre a second. Less than two hours after the fire ignited, the town was engulfed in flames, the residents trapped in their homes and cars. By the next morning eighty-five people were dead.
As a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, Lizzie Johnson was there as the town of Paradise burned. She saw the smoldering rubble of a historic covered bridge and the beloved Black Bear Diner and she stayed long afterward. In the book she provides a minute-by-minute account of the Camp Fire, following residents and first responders as they fight to save themselves and their town.
Lizzie Johnson is a staff writer at the Washington Post. She previously worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she reported on fifteen of the largest wildfires in California history. Originally from Nebraska, she lived part-time in Paradise while writing the book, and currently lives in Washington D.C.
Join us for an interview with the author about her work in documenting the unfolding tragedy.