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Paradise, California

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Paradise, California
Town
Welcome to Paradise sign (2011)
Welcome to Paradise sign (2011)
Flag of Paradise, California
Flag
Official seal of Paradise, California
Seal
Location within Butte County and California
Location within Butte County and California
Coordinates: 39°45′35″N 121°37′19″W / 39.75972°N 121.62194°W / 39.75972; -121.62194Coordinates: 39°45′35″N 121°37′19″W / 39.75972°N 121.62194°W / 39.75972; -121.62194[1]
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyButte
IncorporatedNovember 27, 1979[2]
Government
 • MayorJody Jones[3]
Area[4]
 • Total18.33 sq mi (47.48 km2)
 • Land18.32 sq mi (47.44 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2)  0.08%
Elevation[1]1,778 ft (542 m)
Population (2010)[5]
 • Total26,218
 • Estimate (2016)[6]26,551
 • Density1,400/sq mi (550/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes95967, 95969
Area code530
FIPS code06-55520 [1]
GNIS ID277573 [1]
Websitetownofparadise.com

Paradise is a town in Butte County, California, United States in the Sierra Nevada foothills above the northeastern Sacramento Valley.[1] As of the 2010 census, the town population was 26,218.

On November 8, 2018, a major wildfire, the Camp Fire, destroyed most of Paradise and the adjacent Concow communities.

History[edit]

The first post office was established at Paradise in 1877; it closed for a time in 1911, but was re-established later that year, when the post office at Orloff was closed.[7] Paradise incorporated in 1979.[7] For many years, the Butte County Railroad operated trains along the ridge, serving mines and sawmills.

Naming[edit]

According to GNIS, the community was previously known in the past by four different names: Leonards Mill, Poverty Ridge, Pair-O-Dice, Paradice.[1]

A legend persists that the town was named because it was the home of the Pair o' Dice Saloon, an idea supported by a 1900 railroad map referring to the town as Paradice. However, no documentation has been found to prove the establishment existed, nor an explanation of the spelling of the town's name on the map.[8]

Gene Sylva, a former mayor of the nearby town of Oroville, has stated that the saloon story is false, and that the true etymology of the town's name can be traced to his great-great-grandfather, William Pierce Leonard, who named the town on a summer day in 1864, after a hot and dusty ride from the Sacramento Valley; arriving at his sawmill while the staff were on break, Leonard "took a deep breath of the cool, clean air, and exclaimed, 'boys, this is paradise.'"[8] Sylva's explanation may also be "pleasingly inventive historical fiction", but surmises that the town was probably named for it being a pleasant place to live.[8]

2008 fires[edit]

In June 2008, a wildfire, named the "Humboldt Fire" for its point of origin, swept over 22,800 acres (9,200 ha) of land between Chico and Paradise. As many as 9,300 people were forced to evacuate southwestern Paradise until the fire could be brought under control.[9]

In July 2008, a fire called the Camp Fire burned on the northern side of Paradise in the canyon where the Feather River is located. Again, thousands were evacuated from their homes, but the fire failed to cross the river.[10] It was part of a larger complex of fires called the Butte Lightning Complex or BTU Complex,[11] which also included the Belden and Pit fires.[12] (This was a different fire from the 2018 fire of the same name.)

2018 fire[edit]

Satellite image showing the fire at 10:45 a.m. on November 8, 2018

On November 8, 2018, a fire was reported at 6:33 a.m. PST, close to Camp Creek Road near Pulga.[13] Shortly after the fire erupted, the Butte County Sheriff's Office ordered the evacuation of the eastern quarter of Paradise, and the remaining portions one hour later.[14] Other locations were also issued evacuation orders, while others were issued evacuation warnings, and emergency shelters were established.[15]

On the same day, much of the town of Paradise and community of Concow was destroyed by this fire.[16] Scott McLean, a California Fire Captain, said, "We're talking devastated ... The town center is completely on the ground. The south side as well as the north side has been hit very hard as well." [17][18] Dozens of people died in Paradise and Concow, many others were displaced or missing, and thousands of buildings were destroyed.[19][20]

This fire is now considered the most destructive fire in California history.[21]

Geography[edit]

Paradise is located 10 miles (16 km) east of Chico and 85 miles (137 km) north of Sacramento.

The town is spread out on a wide ridge between deep canyons formed by the west branch of the Feather River to the east and Butte Creek to the west. The Paradise area extends northward to include the unincorporated town of Magalia, as well as Stirling City, eleven miles north. Elevation of the area where the town is located is 1,778 feet (542 m).[1] The town itself is approximately eight miles east of the city of Chico, and ten miles north of the Oroville area.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.3 square miles (47 km2), over 99% of it land.

Soils are mostly well drained reddish brown loam, gravelly in some cases and often grading to clay loam or clay with increasing depth. They have developed on volcanic material. Paradiso is by far the most common soil series in town.[22]

Climate[edit]

The area encompassing Paradise has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa) according to the Köppen climate classification system.

Climate data for Paradise (1957-2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26)
81
(27)
83
(28)
90
(32)
101
(38)
106
(41)
108
(42)
113
(45)
108
(42)
100
(38)
90
(32)
79
(26)
113
(45)
Average high °F (°C) 53.8
(12.1)
56.5
(13.6)
60.0
(15.6)
66.0
(18.9)
74.8
(23.8)
84.1
(28.9)
91.7
(33.2)
90.5
(32.5)
85.2
(29.6)
74.2
(23.4)
60.6
(15.9)
53.8
(12.1)
70.9
(21.6)
Average low °F (°C) 38.1
(3.4)
40.4
(4.7)
42.4
(5.8)
45.8
(7.7)
51.8
(11)
58.7
(14.8)
64.4
(18)
63.4
(17.4)
59.7
(15.4)
52.3
(11.3)
43.6
(6.4)
38.1
(3.4)
49.9
(9.9)
Record low °F (°C) 18
(−8)
17
(−8)
25
(−4)
23
(−5)
32
(0)
40
(4)
42
(6)
41
(5)
38
(3)
29
(−2)
26
(−3)
14
(−10)
14
(−10)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 10.46
(265.7)
9.07
(230.4)
7.95
(201.9)
4.09
(103.9)
1.87
(47.5)
0.7
(18)
0.08
(2)
0.23
(5.8)
0.79
(20.1)
3.13
(79.5)
6.88
(174.8)
9.58
(243.3)
54.83
(1,392.7)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 1.1
(2.8)
0.4
(1)
0.3
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(1)
2.2
(5.6)
Average precipitation days 12 11 12 8 5 2 0 1 2 5 10 11 79
Source: WRCC[23]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19608,268
197014,53975.8%
198022,57155.2%
199025,40812.6%
200026,4083.9%
201026,218−0.7%
Est. 201626,551[6]1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[24]

Paradise is statistically classified within the Chico Metropolitan Area.

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[25] reported that Paradise had a population of 26,218. The population density was 1,430.9 people per square mile (552.5/km²). The racial makeup of Paradise was 24,129 (92.0%) White, 112 (0.4%) African American, 301 (1.1%) Native American, 330 (1.3%) Asian, 24 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 416 (1.6%) from other races, and 906 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,836 persons (7.0%).

The Census reported that 25,810 people (98.4% of the population) lived in households, 139 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 269 (1.0%) were institutionalized.

There were 11,893 households, out of which 2,574 (21.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,227 (44.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,308 (11.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 511 (4.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 742 (6.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 94 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 4,038 households (34.0%) were made up of individuals and 2,126 (17.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17. There were 7,046 families (59.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.73.

The population was spread out with 4,501 people (17.2%) under the age of 18, 1,858 people (7.1%) aged 18 to 24, 4,822 people (18.4%) aged 25 to 44, 8,466 people (32.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 6,571 people (25.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.

There were 12,981 housing units at an average density of 708.5 per square mile (273.5/km²), of which 11,893 were occupied, of which 7,975 (67.1%) were owner-occupied, and 3,918 (32.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.9%. 17,381 people (66.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 8,429 people (32.1%) lived in rental housing units.

2000[edit]

As of the census[26] of 2000, there were 26,408 people, 11,591 households, and 7,244 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,447.1 people per square mile (558.7/km²). There were 12,374 housing units at an average density of 678.1 per square mile (261.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.73% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 1.07% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.21% from other races, and 2.64% from two or more races. 4.27% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,591 households out of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the town the population was spread out with 20.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 21.2% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 27.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $31,863, and the median income for a family was $41,228. Males had a median income of $35,419 versus $25,231 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,267. About 9.7% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.6% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

The State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development defines Feather River Hospital as a General Acute Care Hospital in Paradise with Basic emergency care as of August 22, 2006.[citation needed]

Education[edit]

Paradise is served by the Paradise Unified School District,[27] as well as by several independent Charter and Private Schools.

Paradise Unified School District schools include:

  • Cedarwood Elementary School (K–6)
  • Paradise Elementary School (K–5)
  • Ponderosa Elementary School (K–6)
  • Pine Ridge School (K–6)
  • Paradise Intermediate School (6–8)
  • Paradise High School (9–12)
  • Ridgeview High School (continuation)
  • Honey Run Academy Elementary & Secondary (2 community day schools)
  • Children's Community Charter School (K–8)
  • Paradise Charter Middle School (6–8)
  • HomeTech Charter School (K–12)

Other Paradise schools include:

  • Achieve Charter School,
  • Paradise Adventist Academy,
  • Paradise Elearning Charter (Online 9–12)
  • Butte College

Transportation[edit]

There are not many options for transportation within Paradise other than driving an automobile. The Paradise/Magalia area is served by the "B line" Butte County Transit. Butte Community College also runs bus service for students.[citation needed]

Paradise's link with Chico, Skyway Road (referred to locally as simply "Skyway"), begins in the Sacramento Valley, at the Highway 99 freeway in Chico, and runs up the ridge as a 4-lane divided highway until it reaches Paradise. Through the town, it is a four-lane undivided highway, which becomes a two-lane road as it continues up the Sierra's ridge to Magalia and into numerous smaller communities to the north. Paradise is connected to Oroville via Highway 191, otherwise known as Clark Road upon entering the town.

The Paradise Memorial Trail is a paved pedestrian and bicycle path which runs through town on the path of the former railroad tracks leading up the ridge. However, aside from points along this path, the very hilly terrain of the town, coupled with the large spacing of commercial areas and large land area made Paradise difficult to navigate on foot or on a bicycle, in addition to the lack of sidewalks.[citation needed]

Paradise Skypark (FAA identifier: Q88) is an airport located parallel to State Route 191 and south of the town.

Media[edit]

Eclectic Internet radio station Radio Paradise was founded and is based in Paradise.[28]

The local newspaper is the Paradise Post.[29]

Scenes from Gone with the Wind were filmed in Paradise off of Stark Lane.[30][31] Paradise was also used in the comic strip Pickles, by Brian Crane, on June 22, 2011.[32]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) details for Paradise, California; United States Geological Survey (USGS); January 19, 1981.
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on October 17, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  3. ^ "Town Council". Town of Paradise. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "Paradise (Town) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 290. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  8. ^ a b c David Mikkelson (September 19, 2013). "Place Name Origins: Paradise, California". Snopes.com. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  9. ^ "Paradise fire evacuees starting to return home". SFGate.
  10. ^ Wildfires force residents to flee Paradise; CNN; July 9, 2008.
  11. ^ "CA: BTU Complex, July 9 update - Wildfire Today". Wildfire Today. July 9, 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "Butte Lightning Complex Fact Sheet" (PDF). July 10, 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "PG&E power lines may have sparked deadly Camp Fire, according to radio transmissions". The Mercury News. November 9, 2018.
  14. ^ Cal Fire (November 7, 2018). "CAL FIRE on Twitter". Red Flag Warning - Twitter. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  15. ^ "PARADISE LOST: Cal Fire Says Camp Fire Has Wiped Out California Town". CBS Sacramento. November 8, 2018. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "'Hell on Earth': The First 12 Hours of California's Deadliest Wildfire". The New York Times. November 18, 2018. Archived from the original on November 18, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Wildfire destroys entire town as massive blazes tear through California". CBS News. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  18. ^ "Camp Fire devastates Paradise near Chico — businesses, church, numerous homes burn". San Francisco Chronicle. November 9, 2018.
  19. ^ "Death toll jumps to 23 as 'challenging' Camp Fire pushes toward Lake Oroville". The Sacramento Bee. November 10, 2018. Archived from the original on November 10, 2018.
  20. ^ "California wildfires: Death toll rises to 25". BBC. November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  21. ^ Gina Martinez (November 14, 2018). "The California Fire That Killed 48 People Is the Deadliest U.S. Wildfire in a Century". Time (magazine). Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  22. ^ "SoilWeb". ucdavis.edu.
  23. ^ "PARADISE, CA (046685)". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  24. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  25. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA — Paradise town". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  26. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  27. ^ http://www.pusdk12.org/
  28. ^ "Radio Paradise - eclectic commercial free Internet radio". November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  29. ^ Paradise Post website
  30. ^ "Gone with the Wind (1939) Filming Locations". IMDb. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  31. ^ Colby, Robert (2006). Paradise. Arcadia Publishing. p. 111. ISBN 9780738546759.
  32. ^ "Pickles by Brian Crane for June 22, 2011 | GoComics.com". GoComics. June 22, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  33. ^ "Carla Gugino". IMDb.
  34. ^ Rossmann, Randi. "Local harmonica legend Norton Buffalo dies". The Press Democrat. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
  35. ^ "ChicoER Archives - Former Butte County resident tours with rock band America". Archived from the original on December 18, 2003.

External links[edit]