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Survivors Of Burned Down Palm Springs Neighborhood Seek Reparations

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palm springs section 14
Apartment buildings surround the vacant lot of what was Section 14 in Palm Springs on May 30, 2024. (Zaydee Sanchez for KQED)

Here are the morning’s top stories on Monday, June 17, 2024…

  • Palm Springs is known as a wealthy city filled with luxurious hotels and casinos. But lesser known is the history of its violent racism against a predominantly Black and Latino neighborhood known as Section 14. Now, former residents are seeking reparations.
  • Wildfires erupted across California over the weekend. The state’s largest wildfire so far this year is the Post Fire near Gorman in the mountains north of Los Angeles. It’s burned more than 14,000 acres and forced the evacuation of campers, hikers and off-roaders in the Hungry Valley Recreation Area.

Displaced Families Call For Reparations In Palm Springs

60 years ago, the city of Palm Springs forcibly evicted and burned down Section 14, a mostly working class neighborhood near downtown. 

In total, 235 structures were burned down by the city from 1965 to 1967, according to city documents. And about a thousand residents were evicted and were never paid for their losses. Some didn’t even receive any warning. A 1968 report by the state attorney general described the destruction of the neighborhood as a quote “city-engineered holocaust”

In 2021, the city issued a formal apology to former residents for its role in displacing them. But compensation has been much slower to come by. That same year, a group of survivors filed a claim against the city alleging the evictions were illegal and amounted to a racially-motivated attack.

Wildfires Scorch Thousands Of Acres In California 

Firefighters increased containment of a large wildfire in mountains north of Los Angeles on Monday after a weekend of explosive, wind-driven growth along Interstate 5.


The Post Fire was 8% contained after scorching more than 14,000 acres and forcing the evacuation of at least 1,200 campers, off-roaders and hikers from the Hungry Valley Recreation Area on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in Sonoma County, firefighters worked overnight with bulldozers and hand tools, constructing control lines around the Point Fire near the southeast end of Lake Sonoma. Three helicopters flew overhead, supporting that effort. That fire has burned more than 1,100 acres and is 20% contained.


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