REDDING (CBS13) — One year after the Carr Fire started, signs of the fire can still be seen all over the community of the Redding. People are starting to rebuild, but those who live here and lived through the fire say they’ll never be able to forget what happened.
“I got hit by this ferocious gust of wind and things were spinning around like you were in the ‘Wizard of Oz,’” Redding resident, James Sacco, said. “It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It really was just very frightening.”
More than 200,000 acres burned to the ground, eight lives were lost, and more than a thousand homes were destroyed. The Carr Fire engulfed the Redding community.
“As far as you could see, wall-to-wall, it was just fire,” Redding resident, Don Anderson, said.
Now, one year later driving through Redding, you see mailboxes that don’t belong to homes — just empty lots, where people’s lives were changed forever.
“The community, it’s hurting. The community is hurting. You have a major disaster like this, it hurts,” Salvation Army Officer, Tim Danielson said.
Swipe through pictures from the Carr Fire one year ago.
Now the seventh most destructive fire in California history, the community wasn’t prepared for a disaster of this magnitude.
“Trying to create an airplane while you’re flying. That’s probably the biggest roadblock. None of us were ready for this. None of us really understood this,” Danielson said.
Organizations working to rebuild say the process is going slower than initially planned. It’s more than just rebuilding homes. It’s installing utilities, bringing in new power lines, and cleaning all the debris.
“There were trees all over the place. There was just garbage and stuff just scattered everywhere,” Anderson said.
This week marks another major milestone: the first of 300 homes being built for those who are uninsured or underinsured, moves one step closer to becoming a reality. Exactly one year after the evacuation orders.
“On the same day where people were having to leave, on the 26th. On the very same day we’re going to breaking ground on one of those homes,” Danielson said.
While people are working to rebuild, they also have to worry about potential flooding, mudflows, and debris all because of the Carr Fire.