Coleman Creek Estates rehouses survivors nearly a year after Almeda Fire

PHOENIX, Ore — Coleman Creek Estates has started rehousing Almeda Fire survivors, nearly a year since the devastating fire.

The site was one of many mobile homes that were destroyed in the deadly September 8th fire – leaving dozens of people misplaced. The FEMA-led recovery project was about 50% complete back in April, according to former Jackson County Emergency Operations Manager, John Vial.

“These housing missions can be really complex and they take a long time,” Jeremy Hollen, Media Specialist with FEMA, told NBC5 news Monday. “To finally get survivors into a new home is unbelievably exciting.”

The Estates have 69 units available for people, with 13 families scheduled to move in Monday. Rent for the temporary housing is free, and families may only have to pay for utilities until they can get back on their feet.

Hollen says one family has moved in so far over the last few days.

“It’s exciting because you get to see the look on their faces when they finally have a place that they can call home for a while,” Hollen said. “Most of them have just experienced unimaginable loss and trauma.” 

Hollen called the completion of the homes a milestone, but acknowledges more work is needed for a community continuing to reel from the devastation.

“This just represents the next step in Oregon’s recovery,” Hollen said. “This State is really hurting, and we’re in the wake of another busy fire season.

We still have a lot of work to do, but to get past this giant obstacle is really exciting.” 

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