Butte County (California) Office of Education is one of SWIFT Education Center's partners in the California Scale Up of MTSS Statewide project. Just last month we shared with you a
podcast interview with our Butte County colleague, Susan Hukkanen. This month, Susan and her husband Roger lost their home, their neighborhood, and Roger's place of work when a wild fire essentially wiped Paradise, California off the map.
This wildfire, known as the Camp Fire, burned more than 70,000 acres in 24 hours, and as we write the death toll is approaching 100 residents of this small community. Many of Susan and Roger's friends and neighbors died in the conflagration. One of the SWIFT scale-up model school sites was destroyed and some of the children and their families were killed because they were unable to escape. Hundreds of residents in this very remote, rural part of the state are now living like refugees in "tent cities" in nearby Oroville and Chico. They cannot find housing in these communities, nor in Sacramento, as all the housing options are virtually filled up.
Susan and Roger were out of state at the time the fire destroyed their home. They are safe, but lost everything. Their circumstances are dire, as is the case for all Paradise families. They need our help in countless ways. In particular, they need help to rebuild schools.