Lost town of Paradise where wildfire killed 85 worse than any Hollywood disaster

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It starts like a gripping scene from one of ­Hollywood’s dystopian ­disaster movies.

Dashcam footage shows desperate families trying to escape raging wildfires, while a harrowing call to the ­emergency services captures the panicked plea of a daughter trying to save her wheelchair-bound father left behind to perish in the inferno.

But for the residents of a small, idyllic Californian town, this was the horrifying reality they faced in 2018 when one of the US’s most damaging wildfires turned Paradise into hell on earth.

While global media focused on the burnt out celebrity mansions, belonging to the likes of Gerard Butler and Miley Cyrus, further north the blaze ripped through the town of Paradise, killing 85 people, obliterating 14,000 homes, 15,000 acres and displacing over 50,000.

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Scenes like these in the town will be shown in the documentary

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An almost 100-year-old transmission tower failed, casting sparks into the brush below which were exacerbated by the dry, hot and windy conditions caused by the climate crisis.

“Things are changing,” Ken Pimlot, a retired Californian fireman, said.

“We are living with climate change every day.

Cal Fire Northern Region Peer Support Battalion Chief Shawna Powell stands in front of a Paradise Fire Department fire truck

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"It is not that California has not had bad fires and bad conditions over time but they’re lasting longer and becoming more extreme.”

Their plight and efforts to rebuild is told in Ron Howard’s haunting new documentary, Rebuilding Paradise – filled with emotion, heroes and remarkable footage of the fires and what they left behind.

These displaced characters are now scattered across the state, many forced to decamp to motels and trailer parks with practically just the clothes on their backs.

Burned down property strewn with debris in Paradise

Others risked their lives while ­scrambling to rescue photo albums and beloved family pets.

It is also a reminder of the insult made by soon-to-be ex-President (thankfully) Trump when he referred to the town as “Pleasure” while touring the devastation.

This gaffe, as well as blaming “poor” forest management, encapsulates his administration’s casual indifference to the climate crisis.

A rear window of a vehicle shows the words 'Paradise Strong' written in the dirt.

He and all politicians of every nation should be forced to sit down and watch this documentary.

It is a real-life wake-up call to the realities of climate change. More harrowing than anything Steven Spielberg could conjure up.

Net result is death …

More than one million sea creatures are killed each year due to fishing, according to WWF.

Drowned green turtle (Chelonia myda) entangled in a gillnet on Tobago, Caribbean Sea

At least 720,000 seabirds, 300,000 cetaceans, 345,000 seals and sealions, more than 250,000 turtles and tens of millions of sharks die after being caught in fisheries around the world. 

Many of these species are endangered, like this green turtle which drowned after being caught up in netting off the coast of Tobago.

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