FEMA Is Forcing Calif. Wildfire Victims Out Of RVs (2/6/2019)

Story by Woodall's Campground Management

Camp Fire

The Camp Fire devastated the town of Paradise, Calif.

Hundreds of northern California wildfire victims desperate for housing and living in RVs on their burned-out lots were ordered off their properties Monday (Feb. 4) after federal authorities threatened to cut off funding for the state's biggest natural disaster cleanup, according to Capitol Public Radio News. 

The Paradise Town Council unanimously rescinded a two-month-old law allowing residents to live in temporary shelters on their burned out properties before the lots are cleared and certified safe for habitation. The unanimous vote Monday occurred after an emotional and tense meeting that was the first in Paradise city hall since the Nov. 8 fire destroyed most of the city of 27,000 people.

"Our town is struggling already and this adds more hurt," said Councilwoman Melissa Schuster, who lost her home in the fire and is living with her husband in an RV on their property.

The council reversed itself after a top Federal Emergency Management Agency official warned the city that $1.7 billion in federal cleanup funds could be withheld if it allowed residents to live on burned-out properties before they are cleared of debris and certified safe. Cleanup crews began the gargantuan task of clearing 15,000 destroyed homes last week in a process expected to take a year.

"I'm asking you not to throw the people of this town into the cold in the middle of winter," Paradise resident Ben Walker told the city council. "If the option is to choose federal money to rebuild the town, or the people to rebuild the town — choose the people."

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