San Diego

Northern California Camp Fire Contained But Fight Not Over for Survivors

A deadly wildfire in Northern California has been contained but for the people who survived the devastating blaze, the next step is surviving the day-to-day.

Fred Kuhlmann woke up in a tent next to his cat. Cecelia Weeks woke up in her car alongside her dogs. 

"She stayed in her car I slept in a tent," Khulmann told NBC 7's Rory Devine, who this week visited some of the people affected by the Camp Fire. 

This is the reality for residents of what was once the community of Paradise, California. 

[NATL-BAY]PHOTOS: Wildfire Ravages Butte County, Leaving Dozens Dead

The more than 153,000-acre wildfire, the nation's deadliest in a century, took more than people's property and lives as it burned for two weeks; victims of the Camp Fire lost their communities and neighborhoods.

The Camp Fire killed at least 85 people and nearly 250 people are on the list of those unaccounted for. 

This Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, NBC and Telemundo are partnering with the Red Cross to raise funds for the California Wildfire Relief Fund in support of victims of devastating wildfires across the state. Consider making a donation here

"I'm not going back to paradise way too many bad memories now," Weeks said.

For some, that community is now a tent city.

"I've got an air mattress so I'm up off the cold," Jerry White said. He has been sleeping in a donated pop-up tent with a sleeping bag and a blanket but he said he will be OK. 

"I'm a trooper," he said. 

Rubyjade Rogers, on the other hand, is not so certain. With a baby on the way, a one-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son, Rogers is "scared," she told NBC 7. 

"I have no clue what's next," she said. Rogers told her son this was a fun camping trip but she said he knows the reality. 

"He said 'That's because of the fire, huh,' he said, 'A lot of people lost their homes that day,'" Rogers said. 

What she wants -- as do others devastated by the Camp Fire and others like it across the state -- is a place to call home again.

"I tell my son, I tell my daughter all the time, a home is not a home until it's 'home sweet home.'"

NBC 7's Melissa Adan spoke to the president of Scripps Health about the team's mission.
Contact Us