A couple ventures into a canyon in Paradise to discover if their home survived

PARADISE — Rick and Kimberly Scott got married 14 years ago in a field on their property in Paradise, Calif. They had goats, a yurt, a barn and two dogs who chased after mountain lions.

“It doesn’t look like much now, but back then it was beautiful,” Rick said about his property, which is nestled in a canyon at the bottom of a steep, twisting road.

It doesn’t look like much because, on Nov. 8, the Camp Fire tore through the canyon and their property. They were forced to evacuate and didn’t know what happened to their home.

On Nov. 11, they made the familiar trip down the hill, stopping to stare at what was left. The hillside used to be covered with so many trees and brush that it was impossible to see the terrain. But after the Camp Fire, the landscape was mostly bare.

“It would’ve burned us alive all these brush here burning,” Rick said. “It would’ve cooked us trying to get out of here.”

“Boy it really came through here,” Kimberly said looking at the destruction. “This was all brush here.”

Most of their neighbors’ homes didn’t make it. When they returned to their property on for the first time, they occasionally pulled over to look at the rubble of their friends’ homes and to call for the 17 goats they had to leave behind. They didn’t find the goats.

They assumed much of their property was gone. But the Scotts found their home, and their yurt, still standing.

Many of the trees and brush that once covered the road down the canyon was burned, exposing the hill’s terrain.


  • Ashlyn Rollins

    Ashlyn Rolllins graduated summa cum laude from Corban University with a B.S. in political science. Her passions include advocating for vulnerable populations including the elderly and those living in poverty. After her semester studying communications, marketing, migration and free speech and interning in Washington, D.C., she served as editor-in-chief for her school’s newspaper, The Hilltop. In this role, she gave students a platform to share their “me too” experiences and sought to relate national news and campus news. During her senior year, she wrote her thesis on malnutrition in nursing homes and presented it at a national undergraduate research conference. Ashlyn is excited to use the data and storytelling skills she learns at Stanford to write affective stories about major political issues.

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