It’s remarkable to think we are in the fifth year of rebuilding. As a community, we have united in extraordinary ways to shape a promising future for Paradise.
The year 2023 proved to be as accomplishing as the preceding four, filled with events, projects, and planning.
Here are some highlights of our achievements in 2023:
More Houses Rebuilt & More Families Returned!
As of December 20, 2023, 2,189 homes have been issued a Certificate of Occupancy, with 210 more permits submitted for review. The current population is approximately 9,100, nearly 35% of pre-fire in only five years, with an estimated 4,600 additional daytime construction workers.
12 ToP POP Events
In January 2023, the Town of Paradise introduced a 12-month-long series of free pop-up community events in collaboration with other organizations in town. These “ToP POP” community event series celebrated life in Paradise and all it has to offer. View all the ToP POP activities from 2023 here.
Early Warning Sirens Installed
One of the largest and most important infrastructure projects in the Long-Term Recovery Plan, the Early Warning Sirens (EWS) is nearing completion. The Town held the first Early Warning Sirens test on June 15th at 10 a.m., as part of the “Prepared Paradise” emergency exercise. Currently, 20 of the 21 EWS are installed and active. View their locations here. The sirens are currently being refined and tested, with regular surveys requested from Town residents for input on volume and pitch.
The Town has made significant progress in the Repaving Project for roadway rehabilitation efforts along publicly owned and maintained roads in Paradise.
View the current Paving Plan map here.
Utilities Undergrounding Project
Work continued throughout 2023 on undergrounding all utilities (PG&E, Comcast, and AT&T). The project is on track to complete in 2025; below are current progress reports for each utility:
- PG&E 70%
- Comcast 48%
- Water 25%
- Telecommunications 38%
With the project officially approved, the Paradise Sewer Project is preparing to enter the design stage, permitting, approvals, and right-of-way acquisitions. Construction is estimated for 2025-2027. Learn more about the project here.
Almond Street / Gap Closure Project
The “Almond Street / Gap Closure Project” in Paradise’s downtown area was successfully completed, bringing repaved streets, new sidewalks, street lighting, and beautiful landscaping.
Washington, D.C. Policies Trip
In March, Paradise Vice Mayor Rose Tryon and Town staff met with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to advocate for Paradise in Recovery. Over the course of two meeting-filled days, the Paradise team advocated for the Camp Fire Survivor Tax Relief bill, sewer project funding, affordable housing, and evacuation route improvements.
Additional Hazardous Trees Removal Grant
The Town of Paradise was awarded a significant grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to support the removal of hazardous trees in the community. This additional grant will not only accelerate the removal process aimed for early 2024 but also alleviate the financial burden on property owners who previously would have had to cover 25% of the overall expense.
Commercial Sign Removal Program
This year, the Town introduced the Commercial Sign Removal Program, which funded the removal of commercial signs damaged by the Camp Fire or those located on a vacant lot. The application period opened January 16th, 2023, with great success. Read more about the program and apply here.
Business Investment Grant (BIG)
15 Paradise businesses were each awarded $5,000 as part of the Business Investment Grant (BIG). See the list of businesses that received grant money here.
Residential Ignition Resistant Retrofit Program
In May, the Residential Ignition Resistant Retrofit Program opened for applications. Owners of single-family residential homes in the Town of Paradise that survived the 2018 Campfire were invited to apply. When the application period ended in July, 118 property owners had applied. Assessments of these properties are currently ongoing.
5 Year Commemorative Events
To honor the significant progress in restoring the fabric of the community, the Town of Paradise organized five different community-based events from Saturday, November 4th-Wednesday, November 8th. These events included a pancake breakfast, daffodil planting, food truck and music evening, community paint night, and 85 seconds of silence following the time capsule burial to be opened on the 25th anniversary of the Camp Fire. Read more about the events here.
We’re proud of our achievements in the past five years and grateful to all of you for being part of it. Here’s to the future of Paradise.