By Steve Large

SANTA ROSA (CBS13) – Rain is offering relief to people hit hardest in the Northern California wildfires.

“It feels like you can restart for a whole community,” Tubbs Fire evacuee Jennifer Reed said.

It is literally a breath of fresh air.

“The air smells crisp and clear,” Darren Reed said. “Before it was almost like hell. You couldn’t go anywhere without a mask.”

Jennifer and Darren Reed are living out of an evacuation center after losing their home in the Tubbs Fire.

Even with their loss, the rain is serving as a sign of hope.

“It’s fresh, it’s new – it’s not just rain, it’s symbolism,” Darren Tubbs said.

In Santa Rosa’s devastated Coffey Park neighborhood, the rain gave a slight sheen to the burned wreckage the fire left behind.

People who once lived here are being kept out while PG&E crews work on power problems.

“We still can’t be complacent,” Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean said.

The rain is helping the thousands of firefighters as they work to get a line around the Tubbs Fire.

It can also be a problem for heavy equipment.

“Think of all these resources out there on the line,” Deputy Chief McLean said. “They’re working in the mud now, instead of the dirt. So we have safety concerns we have to be careful with.”

After a wild firefight, leaving dozens dead and hundreds homeless, these few drops of rain are offering relief.

“Now after this rain, it’s like a fresh start,” Darren Reed said. “It’s like a new world again. Start rebuilding.”


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