VIDA, Ore. -- After the Holiday Farm Fire destroyed more than 173,000 acres and more than 400 homes, the road to rebuilding has been a tough reality for those still trying to pick up the pieces.
Marcia Anderson and her husband, Carey, lost nearly everything in September’s flames.
The couple moved back on to their property in December and into a fifth wheel trailer after being looted three times.
The fifth wheel was sold to the couple by a friend for a very generous price.
KEZI 9 News went back to their Vida property Tuesday to learn more about their recovery.
“They took copper wires,” Marcia said. “They took anything that they could carry, and I'm sure they sold it. So we thought the best thing was to come back and protect what was ours.”
Thankfully, they were able to get Internet and cable hooked up shortly after moving back to their property. Originally, they had been running off of a generator which was getting pricey.
However, there are many in the McKenzie River Valley who still do not have internet or television.
“If you have access to computers, television or radio and you know someone that's doesn’t and is in need -- please call them,” Marcia said. “Please get a hold of them. Please stop by and visit with them. Let them know what's going on.”
The Andersons are still awaiting the green light to rebuild -- communicating with insurance agents, mortgage companies and crews on a daily basis which has been far from easy. Many wildfire victims are finding out that they’re not getting the amount of money they expected, which is a difficult reality to navigate as people hoped to rebuild soon. Some said they don’t think they’ll be able to start rebuilding until August.
How is vegetation holding up?
“Everyone was so afraid that nothing was coming back and that the Mackenzie River will never be the same,” Marcia said. “Mother Nature is glorious.”
Patches of bright and dark green are beginning to pop back up. This is something the community has been waiting to see.
Marcia said it’s her faith that keeps her strong and hopes she can bring some hope to those who feel like giving up.
“It’s been an uphill battle, and we're still going uphill,” Marcia said. “We're not going to give up. We’re fighters. We're bulldogs and we're tenacious. We know we're right in what we're doing, and we're not going to give up. We're here to stay. I hope more people make this decision. It may look like things are really bad right now and people are saying no no no no -- but don't give up.”
While much is a waiting game right now, Marcia wants to remind everyone that there is hope on the horizon.