On the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, a devastating firestorm engulfed the picturesque city of Paradise, California. By the time the Camp Fire was extinguished, it had killed 85 people, displaced 50,000 residents and destroyed 95% of local structures. It was the deadliest U.S. fire in 100 years — and the worst ever in California’s history. Rebuilding Paradise is a moving story of resilience in the face of tragedy, as a community ravaged by disaster comes together to recover what was lost and begin the important task of rebuilding.
A spark from a transmission line in Northern California, coupled with climate-impacted conditions, quickly grew into a tragedy. As residents faced the damage to their lives, to their homes and to more than 150,000 acres in and around their 141-year-old town, they did something amazing: They worked together to heal. The community members went on to forge a bond stronger than what they had before the catastrophe, even as their hope and spirit were challenged by continued adversity: relocations, financial crises, government hurdles, water poisoning, grief and PTSD.
From the moment the crisis began, Oscar-winning director Ron Howard led a filmmaking team to the city and would go on to spend a year with Paradise residents, documenting their efforts to recover what was lost. The Camp Fire and its overwhelming aftermath became a de facto lesson in what we all must do: protect our environment, help our neighbors, plan for future dangers and remember to preserve the traditions that unite us.
How to watch Rebuilding Paradise
Bud Werner Library has secured special access for our patrons to stream this new documentary film from inside Colorado. Click on the WATCH BUTTON above to purchase a viewing for $5 with the special code KS304L0Z4NPEEWK. Once you unlock your screening, you'll have 72 hours to watch it.