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Community still rebuilding two years after Charlotte Fire

Community still rebuilding two years after Charlotte Fire

POCATELLO, Idaho - One community is still rebuilding itself two years after the Charlotte Fire devastated the region.

On June 28, 2012 the fire swept through the area, burning 66 homes and destroying the surrounding land.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game's Jennifer Jackson said although the wildlife did not suffer any major displacement, the destruction shook the community as a whole.

"Structures were lost, homes were lost, dreams were lost," Jackson said. 

But the giving spirit of the community was not lost. In fact, she said it was because of the communities efforts, as to why we are seeing greener pastures.

"We had many partners in the community that came together to help with hydro-seeding, bitter brush planting, and other types of planting to help stabilize slopes and help provide vegetation in the area," Jackson added.

In fact, Bannock County Commissioner Karl Anderson said the vegetation has grown back so much, you can't tell a fire of that magnitude swept through the region two years ago.

"You have a lot of different folks and a lot of different agencies still taking donations," Anderson said. "This community doesn't walk away from its people, they walk toward them. This community could survive anything."

Anderson said so far the county does not have a total cost configuration of the total repairs done in the area since there are still donations for both material goods and man hours pouring-in from across the community, and he expects this will continue for the next couple of years until the rest of the loose ends are tied-up.

Gate City Real Estate agent Debbie Brooks said she has seen a lot of people in the area these past two years who have been moving out of the area to start their lives over.

She said many of her friends in that situation are retired or elderly, so trying to rebuild what they had before the fire hit is too much work in an area filled with devastating memories.

But also said selling their homes have been a struggle since the fire has deterred a lot of people wanting to move to that area.

So, she said while property values in that area have also taken a hit, many of those homeowners will end up selling their homes for far less than they are worth.

We will have the rest of the story tonight at 5:30 on KIDK and six o'clock on KIFI.

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