Paradise is a town in Butte County, California, United States in the Sierra Nevada foothills above the northeastern Sacramento Valley. Take a look below for 20 interesting and awesome facts about Paradise, California, United States.
1. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 26,218.
2. On November 8, 2018, a major wildfire, the Camp Fire, destroyed most of Paradise and much of the adjacent communities of Magalia, Butte Creek Canyon, and Concow.
3. The first post office was established at Paradise in 1877.
4. It closed for a time in 1911, but was re-established later that year, when the post office at Orloff was closed.
5. Paradise incorporated in 1979.
6. For many years, the Butte County Railroad operated trains along the ridge, serving mines and sawmills.
7. According to GNIS, the community has been known in the past by four different names or spellings: Leonards Mill, Poverty Ridge, Pair-O-Dice, and Paradice.
8. 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.
9. 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.'”
10. According to Snopes, Sylva’s explanation may be “pleasingly inventive historical fiction”, and it is more likely that the town was named for it being a pleasant place to live.
11. 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.
12. As many as 9,300 people were forced to evacuate southwestern Paradise until the fire could be brought under control.
13. In July 2008, a 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.
14. It was part of a larger complex of fires called the Butte Lightning Complex or BTU Complex, which also included the Belden and Pit fires.
15. On November 8, 2018, a wildfire named the “Camp Fire” was reported at 6:33 a.m. PST, close to Camp Creek Road near Pulga.
16. 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. However, many residents never received an evacuation warning, while others chose not to leave because the warnings did not convey the urgency of the situation.
17. Other locations were also issued evacuation orders or warnings, and emergency shelters were established.
18. On the same day, much of the town of Paradise and the communities of Concow and Magalia were destroyed by this fire. Scott McLean, a Cal Fire Deputy Chief, 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.”
19. Eighty-six people died in the Camp Fire, tens of thousands were displaced, and 18,804 buildings were destroyed. Only 5% of buildings in the town remained without serious damage after the fire.
20. It was the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.