911 Camp Fire calls reveal confusing and chaotic moments
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - More than one month after the deadly Camp Fire ripped through Butte County, newly obtained 911 audio is shedding light on how quickly the disaster unfolded. The Camp Fire killed 86 people and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes.
KTVU Fox 2 listened to several hours worth of calls from the morning of November 8. The following is a transcript of some of those calls:
Caller: This is… PG&E Rock Creek Powerhouse. I just got a report of a fire off Poe Dam on Highway 70.
Dispatcher: Poe Dam?
Caller: Yeah. On the railroad tracks. Under the transmission line.
Caller: I’d like to report a wildfire in uh, the Feather River Canyon area, Highway 70 above Poe Dam.
Dispatcher: Yeah, we've got other reports.
Caller: Yeah and I just want to give you a heads up, the winds are whippin'.
Caller: We're in Concow and there looks like a fire coming over the hill.
Caller: Oh, I'm sorry. There isn't an emergency. I can't find the number just to call the fire department.
Dispatcher: What can I help you with, ma'am?
Caller: Well there seems to be... I don't know if there's a fire up here in Magalia...
Dispatcher: There is a large fire in the Concow area. It is not currently threatening Magalia.
Caller: I want to know where the fire is.
Dispatcher: Ma'am, there are engines in route. I don't know exactly where it's at right now.
Caller:This is Paradise PD.
Caller: Is there an information line we can give out? People are calling.
Dispatcher: We have an info line but I don't know that it's currently set up.
Dispatcher: We're starting to get reports of fire in Paradise now.
Dispatcher: I would say yes there's going to be a large scale evacuation order.
Dispatcher: The fire is moving faster than we can keep up, but we're recommending people that are threatened get out.
Dispatcher Are you calling with an alarm company?
Caller: Yes, ma'am.
Dispatcher: Okay. We are not dispatching to any fire alarms in that area because we do have a large fire in the area.
Caller: I'm just calling to notify you of a fire alarm/smoke alarm signal.
Dispatcher: Okay, if this is for Feather River Hospital we've had multiple notifications. There is a fire there. We are evacuating the hospital. If you could put that into your system. It's going to continue to alarm and we don't have time for you guys to keep calling. I've taken half of those phone calls from you alone.
Caller: Do you want me to do your air frequency orders?
Dispatcher: Could you? That would be awesome. We're trying to get help in here but we just didn't have it.