Keswick residents look back on nearly 6 months of Carr Fire recovery


Nearly 6 months after the Carr Fire ignited in Shasta County, people living in the burn scar area say they are still rebuilding their homes and lives and relying on each other for help.

"It's going to be tough for him and he's fully disabled so he can't do none of it himself. So if there isn't someone here to help him, he'll have to live in a trailer the rest of his life," said Peter Cottrell.

Anthony and Peter Cottrell spent all day Thursday on their father's property in Keswick, clearing out the remaining debris before he can rebuild from the Carr Fire.

"Yeah. We're cutting down all the trees that are bad that got burnt down. So they could build a fence around it. Then they're going to build a house in here sometime. When ever they get a chance," said Anthony Cottrell.

They say he has already cleared his property and is getting a power pole installed but if the septic system does not pass inspection it could spell problems for their progress.

"If it doesn't pass that's a big hurdle that the insurance didn't take care of. Which that's going to be a lot out of pocket. You know?" Peter Cottrell said.

The brothers say they will do everything they can to help their father and the community.

Meanwhile, just down the road, help is just what John Halleck is doing with his neighbors the Johnsons.

"We're like family. We stayed to the end. We tried to fight the fire to the end. And we're back here putting power back to the property. Family is very important because you stick together," said Halleck.

The two neighbors say they built their homes next door to each other in 1989 and 30 years later they stood next to each other trying to save their home from the Carr Fire.

"Both of us stayed until the last second with hoses and when our water turned to steam out of our hoses it was time to run," Halleck said.

However, now they say they are making progress by getting their water, sewer and electricity hooked back up, taking them a few steps closer to normalcy and a new beginning.

The Cottrell brothers also say the community plans to put together a memorial around the "Welcome to Keswick" sign with items saved from the ashes as a reminder of what they have overcome together.

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