The Camp Fire ignited Nov. 8 in Northern California and quickly blew through the small town of Paradise, becoming the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state’s history. The smoke hasn’t cleared over the destruction, but the fire is notable in the way it consumed the town — many trees were left standing, while buildings burned to the ground.

That provides a challenge for aerial imagery: With trees and smoke in the way, it’s difficult to see the scope of the damage. Cal Fire crews have been assessing buildings at ground level to see what survived and what was destroyed. That data, combined with a satellite view provided by DigitalGlobe, gives the clearest picture of what happened in Paradise.

Preliminary field damage inspection

Buildings destroyed

As of Nov. 20. Inspection is ongoing and subject to change.

Kilcrease

Circle

1 MILE

Southwest

Paradise

Southeast

Paradise

Preliminary

field damage inspection

Buildings

destroyed

As of Nov. 20. Inspection is ongoing and subject to change.

Kilcrease

Circle

1 MILE

Southwest

Paradise

Southeast

Paradise

Preliminary field

damage inspection

of Paradise

Buildings destroyed

As of Nov. 20. Inspection is ongoing and subject to change.

Kilcrease

Circle

1 MILE

Southwest

Paradise

Southeast

Paradise

Detail

Kilcrease Circle

It’s easy to see the damage in Kilcrease Circle, a large mobile home park within Paradise. Just a small cluster of homes are still standing. In the trees just outside the neighborhood, where houses are a little farther apart, the damage was just as extensive.

Here’s the same “after” image with buildings highlighted. Shapes in orange were destroyed. Buildings in white are still standing. This building data comes from a Microsoft dataset of 125 million building shapes, which does not cover all U.S. buildings, so there may be more buildings that are not marked here.

Detail

Southeast Paradise

This neighborhood at the southeast edge of the town was nearly wiped out, with only a few buildings left standing.

Detail

Southwest Paradise

Some commercial buildings and a school in this large area in the southwest portion of the town appear to have survived the fire, but the residential areas did not fare as well.

About this story

“Before” imagery from Google Earth. “After” imagery imagery ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company. Fire damage data from Cal Fire.

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