WEED (CBS SF) — Residents in the devastated town of Middletown may be wondering how they can ever rebuild, but a year after the town of Weed lost about a third of its housing to a wildfire, residents there are showing that it’s possible to rebuild a community.
Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of a devastating Boles Fire in the town of Weed.
When the fire first devastated the town, Pastor Bill Hofer wasn’t sure how his neighbors would go on.
“So the story is, are people going to pull together, or explode. That’s the story from my perspective,” Hofer said.
A year later, Bill was still in Weed.
“Well, it hasn’t exploded. I’m very thankful for that.”
Weed resident Kathy Besk was busy rebuilding her home.
“We get to start over. Here’s our chance to start over,” Besk said.
In the neighborhoods that burned, vacant lots sit beside finished homes, and houses that are just getting started sit next to houses that are almost finished.
But, not everyone is rebuilding.
“It’s changed everybody’s lives, so everybody is in a different place,” Besk said.
For some of those people, the best place to start over was somewhere else.
“The folks that are gone, I’m pretty sure they’re not coming back,” Hofer said.
But, those that stayed are giving the town what it needs most.
“Economy wise, it’s booming,” Besk said.
The construction boom is one of the reasons rebuilding has been so slow. Work is constantly being put on hold when multiple homes need the same help at once.
“Only so many roofers; so many framers,” Hofer said.
For the people that stayed to rebuild, the year has given them plenty of time to reflect.
“It’s a lesson of appreciate what you’ve got, but if you lose it, you can get up and move on, brush off the ash, and make something good out of it,” Besk said.