HORNBROOK, Calif. — Nearly one year after the 38,000 acres Klamathon Fire tore through Siskiyou County, the rebuilding and healing continue for many Hornbrook residents.
One man died and flames destroyed 82 structures, dozens of which were homes.
“Pretty soon your life begins to reach a stage of being normal again,” Dolores Callahan, Hornbrook resident said. “By three o clock, we had the notice to evacuate and around three fifteen we were in Yreka.”
Kenneth and Dolores Callahan, who’ve lived in the area for decades said their home was spared.
“The hedge burned, the outside of the tree, the outside of the walnut tree but the house itself was just like put God his hands just around our house,” Callahan said.
Just down the road from the Callahans on stands Robert Puckett’s home. He and his family lost everything.
“You miss a lot of things especially pictures and stuff but it’s kind of a new beginning,” Puckett said.
He considers himself one of the lucky ones. He built a new home for his family in less than a year. He had insurance. but not everyone in his community did. Many of which still haven’t returned.
“You got to take one day at a time, we don’t even have curtains on the windows we got sheets and stuff but you know it works,” he said.
The Hornbrook Community Association is planning a Klamathon homecoming event on July 13th. It’s to celebrate the day most residents were able to return to their homes.
“It’s good to see that people are coming back,” Callahan said.
While empty lots and the sight of burnt wood remain, residents said they’re happy to see their once lively small town come back to life.
“This is our home and we’re glad to be here,” Puckett said.
NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Rayvan Vares was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i. He graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Communication. While attending SOU, he studied abroad in Japan.
When he’s not reporting, Rayvan enjoys working out, dancing hula, and traveling. Feel free to email him with story ideas, [email protected]