By Wilson Walker

WINDSOR (KPIX 5) — Getting home is a wonderful first step for those evacuated from the Kincade Fire. Getting back to normal and back to work? That’s going to take a little time.

“I got home about 10 minutes ago,” said John Young of Windsor as he unpacked his pickup truck. “It feels great. We’ve been gone since Saturday afternoon.”

All across the northern end of Sonoma County, Friday was another day for unpacking and rinsing off, especially on the eastern edge of Windsor.

“I’ve got the air freshener thing going, I’ve got some essential oils going,” explained Young’s neighbor, Julie Tyler. “Our house was pretty smokey. The fire was literally about a quarter-mile down the road from us.”

“And so we’re very lucky, you know?” said Young of his neighbors. “We feel very lucky because it obviously came very close.”

For others, this was a day to get business plugged back in.

“I’m surprised he hasn’t called yet or emailed,” said business owner Spencer Henderson of one of his customers. “I’m sure they’re wondering where their stuff is.”

Henderson, of West Coast Pedal Board, makes custom music equipment in the hills of Sonoma County. Orders piled up when had to evacuate his family for several days.

“The power was cut, so I wouldn’t have been able to do much anyways,” Henderson said.

Henderson said the fire — and even more so the power outages — have him thinking about how to rewire his work and home life for the future here.

“I think what we have decided, as a family, is that we just have to step up our self-sufficiency game, like the generator,” Henderson explained about his strategy for greater emergency preparedness.

Across the evacuation area, this will be a weekend to resettle and clean up the mess left behind. There is plenty of that to be found here, along with plenty of signs of gratitude.

“A lot of clean up, but the place is still standing,” said Windsor resident William Mitchell. “So that’s a huge plus.”

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