Talent homeowners living amid destruction

TALENT, Ore. — Joseph Powell wakes up to a view of the devastation every morning.

“It’s just really sad. You have to really experience it to understand it, but it’s really sad,” Powell said.

His home is one of the few left standing at the Talent Mobile Estates.

Roughly 10 remain in the park after the Almeda Fire burned over 2,800 structures across three towns and killed 2 people.

“I’ve been through a lot the military and civilian life. It’s been a really tough fight. And I say this is probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with in a long time,” said Powell.

It’s a sentiment shared by neighbor Donna Paige who is simply grateful for what she has.

“There is some survivors guilt. We’re still standing and they’ve got nothing,” said Paige.

Living with her 80 year old mother, she is worried about the toxins.

“The children next door come out and play and I worry about them. It’s concerning, it’s very concerning. And I know once they start cleaning it up it’s going to get worse,” she said.

Despite the rubble and twisted metal, both say this is home.

“I am so unbelievably thankful and grateful,” said Paige.

The two only wish they could change one thing.

“There’s 90 spots here that we could put R.V.’s in until people could get trailers,” she said.

“I have to look at this every day. But I look at it in a positive way hoping, just hoping they will get in here. Get this cleaned up so families could come home,” said Powell.

On Monday, Jackson County says 266 individual properties were cleared by clean-up crews.

Officials say they have roughly 315 to go that have right of entry forms filled out.

The county doesn’t know when they’ll clean up the Talent Mobile Estates, but say crews are in the area and should get to it soon.

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