PARADISE — Some residents of a Northern California town devastated by a deadly wildfire will be allowed to return home Wednesday, nearly a month after the blaze swept through the parched Sierra Nevada foothills, authorities said.
There will be limited access to residents on Wednesday, but the same neighborhoods will be opened to anyone on Thursday.
More than 50,000 people in the town and two neighboring communities were forced to flee the wind-driven flames that charred 240 square miles.
11 People Are Still Unaccounted For
Authorities said 11 people are still unaccounted for in the deadliest U.S. wildfire in at least a century.
Residents were also warned they should not move back into homes until ash and hazardous waste have been cleared away. And they were told that rain could increase risks in fire-impacted areas for flash floods and mud and debris flows.
The ferocious fire trapped people in cars and surrounded the town’s hospital — forcing the evacuation of about 60 patients. The hospital is still standing but several smaller buildings, including hospital offices, were destroyed.
Officials said that the hospital will reopen but they have not said when that will happen.