By Molly Riehl

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — From ashes to art. A Navy veteran who lost her home in the town of Paradise during the Camp Fire wildfire has found a beautiful way to cope with the tragedy: She’s taken remnants of her hometown and transformed them into art.

November 8 marks three years since the Camp Fire destroyed Brittney Abel’s Paradise home. The Navy veteran grew up in Paradise and says the fire turned her life upside down: “It’s not just your home. It was also my hometown. I grew up there.”

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Once Abel returned to Paradise, she wanted to preserve whatever remnants she could find of her home. She started gathering everything from her crystal collection that survived the fire to pieces of bark — and she transformed them into beautiful works of art. Brittney starts with a blank canvas, adds non-toxic resin and ink, and then the treasures she forages among what’s left of Paradise.

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As more California’s lose their home to wildfires every year, Brittney’s message to them is to find something that can pull them through, the way her art did for her. She says, “You have to rise from the ashes, or you’re going to get buried in them.”

Brittney is currently showcasing her artwork at the Sacramento Arts Festival at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center.

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