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Alpine healing one year after West Fire scorched more than 500 acres

Posted at 7:29 PM, Jul 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-07 02:16:50-04

ALPINE, Calif. (KGTV) - One year after the West Fire scorched Alpine, residents are rebuilding.

In total, the blaze burned 505 acres and destroyed 34 homes and 22 other buildings, including a commercial structure.

Driving through Alpine Saturday, you could see the different levels of recovery. Some homes were a blank concrete foundation with a chimney, others were wooden frames, or brand new structures with scaffolding around the unfinished, black exterior.

Lisa Campbell is on the site of her in-laws' property, Campbell Creek Ranch, every week overseeing the rebuild. "You realize how complicated recovery from something like this is," she said referring to the complications with insurance policies and permitting.

On the ranch progress is visible. She walked 10News through the property, pointing out a brand new white fence lining the driveway, a freshly laid concrete bridge with black metal rails, much sturdier than the large wooden log bridge before it. Her smile grew as she reached the patio where numerous fond family memories were created.

The pool looked like it was ready to be filled with water and enjoyed, lined with new plaster and luminescent tiles. Clay colored tiles created a patio for lounging poolside.

"The pool that they used to play in, that's coming back so that's nice to see," she said nostalgically.

The hope in pipe, planks and plaster fueling the family forward.

"The fire and the recovery has impacted some of his decision to study Forestry," she said. "I think it's one of the best things to come out of this, is just him thinking about what he wants to do with his life." They returned Saturday afternoon from a college scouting trip.

Her son Colin wants to help others through the same tragedy he faced, and is still coping with. He explained just this week he had to rethink where the family was going to watch the Women's World Cup, "soon enough I think about this [house] and I got a little emotional at the time but I've kinda coped but it still comes back every once in a while."

The whole family saying they're adjusting to a new normal, thankful for the continued support from the community and encouraging San Diegans to remember their neighbors in Alpine.

"It's really important not to forget they're in the process of recovery," she said.

Lisa said more than $100,000 were raised to help families recover in Alpine. She said politicians like Dianne Jacob have also helped in the effort.

At the ranch, Lisa said she thinks the family will get to use the pool for the first time Labor Day Weekend.