"Honestly, it looks like Armageddon," Rice said. "There's a part of me that wonders if this city will come back. It is that devastating. "

Resident Mariah Bush, now with her sister in Chico, California, said she does not know yet. But she acknowledged that "the town is gone."

"Yesterday I was a lot more hopeful about my house," she said Friday, fighting back tears. "I'm thinking about the things I wish I had not thought to."

Stephen Walsh, spokesman for the American Red Cross' Gold Country regional offices, said two of four evacuation centers for Camp Fire survivors are full, with nearly 400 people using them.

At a Red Cross center in nearby Chico, we have surgical masks to filter out as they rummaged through secondhand clothing piled on folding tables outside.

Emerald Mayfied grabbed a pink girl's jacket and held it high, victoriously.

"Place is burned down completely," she said. "Baby clothes, teenager clothes, mom clothes."

"I never made it back to the house," she added. "But my kids got all the pets. And all the kids are safe. And the baby is good. So we're doing good. "

The Red Cross Co-ordinates the delivery of two meals a day, and evokes a new cot, Walsh said. But their long-term outlook is unclear.

Paradise is a working-class community filled with retires. The $ 200,000 is closer to Wisconsin's $ 167,000 than San Francisco's $ 858,800, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Some sunk all they had into paradise.

"I know a lot of people do not know the status of their homes," Walsh said. "It could be days or weeks."

For now, evacuees Fisher are happy to be alive. Thursday, April 8, 2012 She devils a plan: Her and her boys would find water, soak their blankets and hunker down somewhere – anywhere.


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