Originally we had a blog post planned about some exciting changes in our hardware lineup but in light of the recent Camp Fire that broke out in Paradise, California, and the impact it has had on OMPT staff members, volunteers and community in large, we are doing things a little differently for this week’s blog post. Check back next week to learn more about our new projectors.
Anyone who has been watching the news over the past week may have heard mention of the incredibly destructive fires that have broken out across California. One fire in particular, the Camp Fire (named for the location where the fire originally began), has had a profound impact on OMPT.
Beginning early morning Thursday, November 8th, in a matter of hours the fire spread to engulf the entire city of Paradise, California, just 15 miles away from OMPT’s office in Chico. Officially the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history, the Camp Fire has destroyed over 8,800 structures, the vast majority of which were homes. As of right now, the fire has burned 130,000 acres and is only 35% contained. At least 48 people have lost their lives and 200 remain missing. Exasperated by extremely dry conditions and strong winds, the blaze continues to spread and threaten communities throughout the foothills just east of Chico and more than 50,000 people are under evacuation orders.
OMPT shares an office with Videomaker, the magazine started by OMPT founder Matt York in 1986, and between the two organizations, a quarter of our coworkers have been displaced. Several lost their homes including OMPT’s own Program and Communications Associate, Laurie Kaplan.
The strength and support shown by this community has been nothing short of incredible. Business are opening doors to displaced Paradise residents. Food and clothing drives have popped up throughout the city. Friends are hosting friends who lost homes, families are hosting families and strangers are hosting strangers.
So we here at OMPT and Videomaker want to do our part to help our coworkers, friends and family impacted by this terrible fire. To that end, we’ve set up a GoFundMe page in support of Videomaker and OMPT staffers, contributors and community members.