PARADISE, Calif. — Drone footage has provided a glimpse into the heartbreaking destruction of the town of Paradise, California, which was consumed last week as the Northern California “Camp Fire” tore through Butte County, and continues to rage to this day. The death toll is now at 56, with more than 100 missing.
The footage shows street after street of homes and businesses reduced to char and rubble, as thousands of structures were destroyed in the town of nearly 27,000.
“I really never believed that it would come up as high as it did, or eat an entire town. The town is gone,” lamented Karin Kaksonen to the Sacramento Bee, which released the drone recording. “I still don’t know how to process that.”
Paradise Foursquare Church also is seen in the footage, completely burned to the ground with the church sign on the lawn alone standing.
Mercury News likewise released shocking aerial footage of the aftermath, with neighborhoods almost completely wiped out, except for a few houses that miraculously were not touched.
In total, the Camp Fire has burned over 138,000 acres in Butte County, with 10,321 structures decimated.
“Honestly, it looks like Armageddon,” Brian Rice, chairman of the California Fire Foundation, told NBC News. “There’s a part of me that wonders if this city will come back. It is that devastating.”
“I would say about 90 percent of the homes in the residential neighborhoods are gone,” Mayor Jody Jones told NPR. “Now, the business district, I would say, is more like 50 percent.”
The Camp Fire is 35 percent contained as of press time, with over 5,000 firefighters battling the blaze. Members of the California Army National Guard have been searching for bodies among the devastation.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has also released a list of missing persons to help with the search for loved ones.
In Southern California, the Woolsey and Hill fires continue to rage, and have claimed three lives. Parts of the city of Malibu are stated to be destroyed. A mandatory evacuation was issued on Friday.