Butte County locals share about wildfire PTSD

Action News Now spoke with some Butte County locals about how they feel about the recent spate of wildfires and some said it is forcing open the wounds of old traumas.

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 8:53 PM
Updated: Sep 9, 2019 11:13 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - The Swedes Fire and Stone Fire both sparked in Butte County in the first week of September.

Action News Now spoke with some Butte County locals about how they feel about the recent spate of wildfires and some said it is forcing open the wounds of old traumas.

A certified wildland firefighter, Lance Watts, saved his brother's home and bears the scars from surviving the flames.

"The best thing to do is talk about it... It's going to be a hard hurt for the rest of our lives," said Watts.

Shirley Israelsky from Magalia said she is hopeful.

"It’s going to take time to make sure everything gets back… Maybe not the way it used to. But it will be, a new improved way," said Israelsky.

Daniel Akutagawa from Chico said he believes in the healing power of the community, where he saw help and compassion.

He said he has lived in Paradise for 28 years and plans to stay.

"This is my town. I’m not getting out of this town. I’m gonna help rebuild it," said Watts.

For free counseling services, CLICK HERE.

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It was a slightly cooler day for northern California today, but a more significant cooling is arriving tomorrow, along with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms over the mountains of northwest California.
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