First Look: Devastation Slater Fire took on Happy Camp

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. – About 150 homes are burned from the Slater Fire in the Happy Camp community. Now people are coming together to help the aftermath of this devastation.

“We’re trying to save human lives,” said Sam Kubowitz, Deputy Sheriff for Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Office.

He spent the last week evacuating the town of Happy Camp from the flames of Slater Fire.

“A lot of people hated me by not letting them come up here, but I’ve had numerous about of people thanking me,” said Kubowitz.

However, evacuations were not a smooth process. Deputies had to investigate a shooting while trying to evacuate the town.

“We had to take 5 guys off from evacuating for these people who couldn’t figure it out that there was a natural disaster going on. And they decided to instead shoot at each other.”

Other than some people taken into custody, Dep. Kubowitz says there were also residents refusing to follow evacuation orders, but had a change of heart once they saw the wreckage.

“Some of them have snuck into see their home and now they are thanking us for not letting them go to their home,” said Kubowitz.

But as some Happy Camp residents return they look on how they will rebuild the future.

“It’s gonna be a long process, it’s gonna be a real long process,” said Kubowitz

While some Happy Camp residents can return home, many whose homes have burned are still unable to see what’s left. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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