[REGIONAL NEWS] California wildfire survivors say they’re living in dire conditions and there’s little help

Residents living in the aftermath of the Camp fire, the deadliest blaze in state history, say it feels like they’ve been forgotten

Kimberly Omiela

By Brianna Sacks | BuzzFeed

Kimberly Omiela can’t remember the last time she felt warm since she lost her home and all of her possessions four months ago in a massive wildfire that virtually destroyed a Northern California town, forcing her to move into a small, dilapidated trailer on her property.

She’s trying, though. The 50-year-old has wrapped a bright blue tarp over the old hunting trailer provided by her brother in an attempt to insulate it from the sharp, frigid air that has descended on the foothill town of Paradise. Omiela doesn’t have electricity, so she turns to her oven for heat. But it really doesn’t do much more than waste valuable propane.

Once a week or so, Omiela gets a hot shower, eats a warm meal, and stocks up on water at one of the few remaining donation sites in Butte County since the disaster recovery center, Red Cross, and other aid outposts have closed up shop.

“It’s a constant battle just to survive,” she said.


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