I was woken up at 8:30 the morning of November 8th and told to get up because we might be evacuated.

I been through the evacuations 5 times before and always returned back home so I did not think much about it but got up anyway and took my shower real quick.

After taking my shower and get a reverse phone call saying to evacuate immediately so I went out to the front driveway and I see all the red burning embers falling everywhere and the black smoke with the red glow and hearing all the explosions all around me from the exploding propane tanks and then there was this one huge explosions that shook our house and the windows I thought were going to break.

I ran into the house and told my mother, let’s go now and I grabbed my dog and I did not want her to drive her vehicle so I told her I would drive her and I left my car behind.

I drove down Pentz to Durham-Pentz road and that is when we started getting the backed up of cars.

We made it to highway 99 and had told other family members to meet at the Tackle box parking lot.

On our way up 99, which was really congested by now, I seen ambulances everywhere headed up to paradise and couple of Calfire vehicles.

We made it to Tackle box in Chico and waited for other family members but they had to go down to the red cross in Oroville so we headed toward Oroville down Midway. I could not believe how many cars were headed back towards chico.

We finally made it to the red cross and got signed in and to let them know we were safe.

The first night I slept in the back of my escape in the Gold Country parking lot. Then for the next 2 weeks we stayed at different hotels down on Roseville for 2 nights at each hotel, until I was finally able to get a room for a whole month.

At the last hotel, the Hilton, there were lots if people there from Paradise and Magalia and we all told our stories to each other. For the next month we all became our own little community family and I made some new friends.

I dont know how I would have handled it if it were not for all the people I met and was able to talk to about this tragedy.

This all seems to be like being in a 24/7 nightmare and wish I could wake up and our homes were still there and the whole town of paradise.

I am temporary in a home down in Rocklin and was not able to get any extra help from FEMA or Red Cross or any of the other places because of no way to get there. FEMA would not let me register because the address was already registered by the owner, but I am making it day by day.

I pray that we all can get our lives back together and I will stay Butte Strong !!

James