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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

We took our vacation, now it’s time to honor the Camp Fire victims

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Sitting in the northwest foothills of California’s Central Valley is Paradise, a Butte County town now widely known for perishing during the Camp Fire in a matter of 24 hours. According to Data USA, Paradise had a population of 26,396 residents. Most of these residents lost their homes during the Camp Fire.

The Camp Fire was also announced as one of the worst fires in California history, leaving cities such as Chico, Oroville and Gridley filled with crowds of evacuees. Days later and we still see a big number of people and families trying to find ways to settle in cramped shelters or finding a home with no job to make money.

As communities continue to find ways to support victims, by creating shelters and gathering donations, it almost seems to create a sense of security we’ll make it through. The enthusiasm within the community to support others is honestly breathtaking. As someone who’s been homeless, one piece of clothing is like having a full closet of wardrobe. However, it seems we are forgetting people still lost their lives, and although the idea is prevalent, is it too much to ask, we take a moment of silence to mourn over those lost lives of loved ones, friends, or relatives who were innocently decimated in such a crisis?

According to whatculture, burning is number three in one of the top ten worst ways to die. Forgive me, for mentioning undesired memories of the Camp Fire. However, there is nothing wrong with wanting the world to know people deserve more remembrance since it was more than likely a possibility we may have been inhaling their ashes.

After reading that a couple universities that are located a few hours away from Paradise had petitioned to be released on break early due to the air quality, I was outraged by the ridiculousness of these petitions. This idea seemed disrespectful to the people who have yet to mourn for everything they lost. Meanwhile survivors built the strength to take a risk through a fire, lose a home, live in a shelter. Some even have to wonder if someone who stayed behind, may have made it through, while others selfishly took advantage of such a crisis to vacation early. It is so disappointing to see how society doesn’t even seem to care or recognize the impact the Camp Fire had on humans just like them. Especially with our president showing little to no affliction to the fact that so many lives were lost.

At this point, it’s obvious we were left empty-handed with only the help we proceed to have from the good-hearted people who help. As the old proverb goes, you don’t know what you don’t know, until you know. Until then, the best thing we can do is take the time to lend a helping hand or even let a loved one know you care.

Karen Limones can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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