Watching the Camp Fire in Real Time

There’s a panoply of flowery quotes about why humans love storytelling as they do. All of them boil down to our need to answer these tangled questions:

Why do people do what they do, and why do things happen as they happen?

The Camp Fire is the most impactful thing ever to happen to my family and our community. As a storyteller, doing my part to tell this story is impossible to resist. Why we all acted as we did on November 8, cowards or heroes, valiant or vain… these I’ll answer in time.

But as our team works, conducting interviews and research, gathering everything a person could know, sometimes we come across something we feel the need to share now. This is one.

It comes from a company called Simtable a company which makes animations and simulations of complex physical events based on real data. This one shows the progress of the Camp Fire. The embedded version below is eye opening, but the link below might be easier to see.

To see the progression at a slower rate,  click the link below.

https://www.simtable.com/apps/fireProgression/CampDayOne/CampDayOne.html?playback=240

For me, the best view was found clicking on the Map Base Layer button and choosing the Bing Hybrid option. It allows you to see road and landmarks laid over satellite photos of the actual landscape.

Something about seeing minute by minute (the timestamp can be seen in the lower left, going minute by minute) is both comforting and goulish. I can’t explain it, awful as it is, some part of me wants to see what actually happened when our lives were all hurled off course.

Now I know my home was destroyed around 12:30 or 1:00 p.m.

Nothing to add to a sentence like that.

January Update 2 – A bit about Three Days in Paradise

Amid the tumult unleashed starting November 8, the geiser of information we are tasked to absorb is something beyond what any of us have experienced.

Keeping so many things straight… insurance claims, FEMA information, cleaning up our communities and most importantly remembering the over 80 people we lost, it is more than understandable a project like Three Days in Paradise has escaped your notice.

So for those far and wide, here’s a little bit about who we are, what we’re doing, and how (hopefully) you can get involved.

Three Days in Paradise is a documentary series not only about the Camp Fire but also the communities we all knew before the fire and what we’re working to rebuild. It’s being written and directed by an Emmy Award-winning local filmmaker, Christopher Allan Smith who lived in Paradise until November 8. Like almost everyone in town, he fled from his home with his family and when he returned only ash remained.

Since the week of the fire Chris and a small, dedicated crew has been shooting footage, interviews, doing research and gathering historical files to put the thousands of disparate threads in this story together in a meaningful, understandable way.

This project is eyeing two audiences. Those of us who live and lived in Butte County and experienced this disaster and those around the world who need to hear our story. So yes, we’re trying to make something to move everyone. Not only will we be touching on the topics we’ve all witnessed in recent years (worsening wildfires, longer fire seasons, the struggle to make Paradise, Magalia and Concow safe to evacuate and more) but when people see this, we want everyone to see our communities as we did. That way, they can  love the communities we knew before November 8, they can cheer and help our rebuilding afterward, and we can claw back from the fading past just a bit of what we lost.

We’re confident with Chris’ experience and the filmmaking talent available, both local and out of the area, we can create something to stand shoulder to shoulder with any production going on this subject. There are people working on Camp Fire documentaries with better resumes, but none with better experience to tell this story.

If you’d like to help, or make sure we include a story you think is vital, check out the links below:

There are two ways to get us footage.
1). Get on our computer and go to this link:
When asked, enter your name and email (this will tag each video you upload with your name so we know who contributed it). Only we will see the video you send.
Or…
2). Contact Chris below and he’ll get in touch about getting your footage.
Twitter: @3DaysInParadise
Chris’ personal page: facebook.com/RocketSpots
Or call 530-680-7125

Welcome to 2019 and your part in making Three Days in Paradise happen. We welcome what you’ve seen… stories, video and pictures

Happy 2019! Here’s hoping it’s better than 2018 for all of us.

To make a TV series, you need footage. To make this series, the Three Days In Paradise team needs YOUR footage.

The enthusiasm you’ve shown for this project has inspired and touched us even while many of us work to put our own lives back together in the wake of the #CampFire disaster. When it comes to Three Days in Paradise, many of the crew and subjects are in this together. As posted elsewhere, I’ve lost my home in Paradise along with many of you.

Since we announced the project, we’ve had hundreds of people offer the footage they shot on November 8, 9, 10 and beyond. So many, we collect them from you one by one.

So we’ve been working on the best way to make it easy for people to send us their high quality, uncompressed footage. We’ve found a way and here it is.

Why can’t you just send Facebook or YouTube links?

We’ll explain.

Most non-professionals understandably think they can just send us links to Facebook or YouTube postings. The problem is, modern cameras shoot surprisingly high quality footage, often 4K footage (advertised as UHD), or 1080 footage (advertised as HD). But Facebook compresses that down to 720 or less and YouTube also compresses the footage.

That compression takes sharp, vivid footage and makes it look blurry, degraded and less colorful. They do this to lessen the load on their networks.

So the upshot is, we need your original camera files if at all possible.

Best Way to Send Us Pictures and Video Files

One of the strengths of this project is we’ll be using footage from the entire range of past and present video sources. That includes phone videos, home videos, old pictures, modern phone pictures as well as old VHS tapes, slides, news station tapes and 8 mm films.

We’ll be announcing how to get some of that to us in the future, but if you have phone or camera pictures or video, here’s how you get them to us.

Get on our computer and go to this link:

https://www.dropbox.com/request/XoKYqh7YQe5IHhPx1qPF

When asked, enter your name and email (this will tag each video you upload with your name so we know who contributed it).

The nice thing about doing it like this is you can send us video but only we will see it.

If this method doesn’t work for you, check below.

Best Way to Send Historial Films or Video Tape files

As Three Days in Paradise is being produced by the Emmy-Award-winning company RocketSpots.tv, we have just the ability to convert old video tapes, photos, slides, 8mm and super 8 film to museum quality digital copies. And we’re willing to do it, if you’ve got images of Old Paradise, Chico, Magalia, Concow or more.

For these transfers, at this point it’s best to meet in person.

Feel free to call me at 530-680-7125

Or email ThreeDaysInParadiseTV@Gmail.com

Or find us on Twitter @3DaysInParadise

Or find us on Facebook.com/ThreeDaysInParadise

Or find director Christopher Allan Smith directly on his personal page: Facebook.com/RocketSpots.