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Tow truck operators who lost their homes in the Camp Fire are clearing roadways (CA)


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When the Camp Fire raged through the town of Paradise, residents started fleeing from their vehicles desperately trying to get away from the flames. Many were able to make it out alive, but hundreds of cars were left behind.


Towing companies like Skyway Towing and Sinclair's Automotive have been partnering with the California Highway Patrol to clear some of the vehicles that were left behind to give crews easier access to the burned areas.

Many of the tow truck operators and the owner of Skyway Towing, Joy Luther, lost their homes and their workplace as a result of the Camp Fire but haven't stopped working. They say right now it is important for them to be helping their community in Paradise so that they can eventually rebuild.


"We used to always complain about doing a burned car because you get dirty, everything is dirty, it's a huge mess but its kind of the normal for right now," said Matt Presson, a tow truck operator with Skyway Towing who lost everything in the fire. "The hardest thing for me is explaining everything to my daughter. She is seven years old so trying to explain to her why she doesn't have all of her things is difficult."

Presson isn't the only one. Luther, the owner of Skyway Towing lost her home and the business in the Camp Fire. The crew continues to operate and help out officials despite all the setbacks.

"I'm just doing my part to try and get things back to normal and being in the truck right now, it's the one normal thing I got to keep my mind off of it," Presson said.

Several other towing companies are working alongside the California Highway Patrol as well working to clear both charred vehicles and ones that survived during the Camp Fire. Their top priority is moving them out of the roadways and getting them in a safer locations so that crews can get around them to do their jobs more efficiently.


Once a vehicle is retrieved, the towing company has the California Highway Patrol identify the vehicle and then they upload it into their database.

To find out if a specific vehicle has been towed, visit the California Highway Patrol's Camp Fire Recovered Vehicles List here.

The vehicles that are in good condition are being returned to residents in Chico. The charred vehicles are brought over to the Skyway Towing yard in Paradise.

The tow truck operators are confident they will overcome this roadblock in their lives, and rebuild from the ashes with the town of Paradise.



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