Fire in Paradise: An American Tragedy (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The fire in Paradise (called the Camp Fire) moved swiftly, and the authors, Gee and Anguiano, made me feel the heat inducing panic of being trapped in a town that had firenados raging through it. This fire was thoroughly devastating to both land and life. A town of 27,000 that was there mere hours before was gone. This book highlights what it means to be in a community- the sadness of loss, the euphoria of saving lives, and the harrowing escapes. My personal gripe is highlighted in this briefly in the aftermath of the destruction. Fires like the Camp Fire are getting more and more common with climate change, and the longer we ignore it the worse it will get. And it’s already a nightmare.

— Jason Kennedy


The harrowing story of the most destructive American wildfire in a century.

On November 8, 2018, the ferocious Camp Fire razed nearly every home in Paradise, California, and killed at least 85 people. Journalists Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano reported on Paradise from the day the fire began and conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews with residents, firefighters and police, and scientific experts. Fire in Paradise is their dramatic narrative of the disaster and an unforgettable story of an American town at the forefront of the climate emergency.

About the Author

Dani Anguiano writes for the Guardian and was a reporter for the Chico Enterprise-Record. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Alastair Gee is an award-winning editor and reporter at the Guardian who has also written for The New Yorker online, the New York Times, and the Economist.

Praise For…

A crisp, intimate portrait of the catastrophe.
— Gregory Crouch - Wall Street Journal

This is a frightening book that will make readers take stock of their own home surroundings, regional infrastructure, and the values of our times.
— Annie Proulx

Gripping.… Fire in Paradise has the narrative propulsion and granular detail of the best breaking-news disaster journalism.

— Rachel Monroe - New York Times Book Review

A story that is both sweeping in scope and vivid in its particulars.
— Carolyn Kellogg - Washington Post

This remarkable account will remind you of the power of the human spirit, even, or especially, in a crisis.
— Bill McKibben

A gripping ticktock account.… [Fire in Paradise] covers the history of that part of California and the influence of climate change on these disasters, but at its core are visceral individual stories of bravery and tragedy.

— John Williams - New York Times

A page-turner from the get-go.… The details of [the locals’] lives lend verisimilitude sure to hook the most callous of observers.
— Judith M. Gallman - Oakland Magazine

Gripping.… The scale of the disaster is enormous, but the authors’ focus on individual survival lends the book harrowing intimacy.
— Hank Stephenson - Shelf Awareness

So riveting and evocative that you can almost smell the smoke. Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano’s account of how a city of 27,000 burned to the ground in a matter of hours reads like a thriller. It’s also crucial. As the world warms, cities across the arid West are increasingly at risk of suffering a fate similar to Paradise.
— Dan Egan, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

A gripping and meticulously reported account of how one California community was wiped from the map.
— Adam Higginbotham, author of Midnight in Chernobyl

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393542165
ISBN-10: 0393542165
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 20th, 2021
Pages: 272
Language: English