CHESTER, Calif. - Driving through the town of Chester on Tuesday evening, you'll see empty streets and thick, dense smoke. It resembles a ghost town as residents are still waiting to be allowed back.
The town of Chester is empty and blanketed by smoke but it survived.
"What I'm telling people today is that this is a blessing to have this town and what you see behind you and these homes, when it came through it was like nothing I ever experienced," said Justin Bottini, who has lived in Chester for 12 years.
He said he was helping fire crews when the flames threatened the town last week.
He helped make sure fire crews had access to plenty of water as they battled the Dixie Fire.
Bottini said it’s a blessing the town is still standing and is thankful for all the firefighters who helped.
"I was right here in it, to see the tornados of flame and to see the winds come through the way they did the only explanation for the town you see is blessings from above," added Bottini. "People who will come back soon hopefully will understand it's a different look but still our home, it could have been much worse and others in our county aren't as lucky, this fire has been terrible and devastating to hundreds of people."
Bottini said even though the town looks different right now, he knows when the community returns they will get through all of this together.
At this time it is still unclear when the mandatory evacuations in the town will be lifted.