Residents attempt to flee the largest and deadliest wildfire in California’s history. There are only four roads that lead off the mountain, and all of them are perilous. The chaos is captured in terrifying cell phone videos, as first responders race to rescue hundreds of people trapped in their homes and a hospital.
Residents Flee Paradise During the Camp Fire
Published: May 13, 2019
William Hart: Right now, guys, Paradise is on effing fire.
F. Brian Andrews: …out of Dodge. This is getting heavy.
Narrator: Residents attempt to flee…
Andrews: Everything’s burning. Oh, my god, I mean everything.
Narrator: Forced to run a gauntlet through flame. There are only four roads that lead off the mountain, and all of them are perilous.
Tamara Fisher: Come on! Just go!
Narrator: Chaos, captured in harrowing cellphone videos…
Fisher: Oh my god, there’s fires everywhere. I don’t want to die here. I don’t want to die!
Narrator: …a tense escape from Hell.
Fisher: I’m scared!
Ken Pimlott: It’s Armageddon.
Fisher: It’s so hot. Keep going!
Hart: Holy shit! People are leaving their cars.
Fisher: Oh my god.
Hart: It’s OK.
Fisher: What should we do?
Hart: We’ve got to get out of here.
Narrator: First responders race to rescue hundreds of people trapped in their homes…
Woman: Are they coming for us?
Police officer: Come on. Watch out! Watch out!
Police Dispatch Audio: Be advised: on Clark Road at Skyway there’s a woman in labor. She’s in a beige Honda Pilot. She should be honking her horn.
Police officer: We have to get this traffic moving now!
Narrator: …even a hospital.
Police Dispatch Audio: All patients now out of Feather River Hospital. All patients out and en route.
Andrews: Go get ‘em, boys. Be safe.
Inside the Megafire
Produced by: Will Toubman
Produced and Edited by: Brian Truglio
Produced and Directed by: Miles O'Brien
Digital Producer: Sukee Bennett
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2019