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Community pulling together amid wildfire destruction

The Bear Fire is the latest wildfire to destroy this part of Oroville, but this isn't the first time this neighborhood's resiliency has been tested before

Posted: Sep 13, 2020 9:14 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2020 9:15 PM

OROVILLE, Calif. -- Hot spots continue burning throughout the community with many homes now fully destroyed. Yet, despite the status of their home impacted by the Bear Fire, many people in the community are more worried about their neighbors.

“We tried to do the best we can,” said Sandy Hansen, Oroville resident for more than 32 years.
She added, “My friend Norma, if she wouldn't have called or texted, me and Mike would be dead.”

“We went ahead and took off. Opened up all the gates so that everybody could try to get away, you know, all the animals,” said Husband Michael Hansen.

He paused for a second, holding back his tears.

“That's probably been the hardest thing. It's the animals,” said Michael.

Thousands of dollars spent on fire prevention, but that still couldn't save much of the Hansen household.

“Thought we had it, but the way this fire came through, there was no stopping it,” said Michael.

Consoling them was Margaret Gunderson.

Her home still stands, but it was a close call.

Portions of her property burned. Most of her neighbors lost their homes.

“The moment that I found out that my house made it was complete elation, and then that sinking feeling of everybody else that doesn't so it's like okay we have to do what we can do.”

This past week, Gunderson ran supplies to and from those who stayed, and to stranded animals.

“Animals are missing and suffering and hungry and right now that's kind of my priority,” said Gunderson.

Fires are still destroying, while smoke is still settling. But this rebuild starts with love for one another.

“When we had the fire three years ago, the Ponderosa Fire, we all worked together,” said Gunderson.

“That's why we're dumping all kinds of resources we can into the place to make sure everybody back there's taken care of. Margaret's going to look after my animals, make sure that they're fed and watered. That alone is worth any amount I can give,” said Michael.

And it ends with unity and perseverance.

“That’s what we do. We take care of each other. I'm sad my home is gone, but I’ll make it through this,” said Sandy.

Evacuees that can't get food and water to their animals should reach out to the North Valley Animal Disaster Group.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 923648

Reported Deaths: 17559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3050707044
Riverside675521306
San Bernardino641311073
Orange594421468
San Diego55898885
Kern34114420
Fresno31195439
Sacramento25882499
Santa Clara24665404
Alameda23636463
San Joaquin21988492
Contra Costa18877243
Stanislaus17814400
Tulare17730291
Ventura14409166
Imperial13023338
San Francisco12277145
Monterey1153892
San Mateo11278159
Santa Barbara9886126
Sonoma9601136
Merced9588155
Kings848683
Solano758676
Marin7107127
Madera506676
Placer429059
San Luis Obispo424032
Yolo325060
Butte313453
Santa Cruz284825
Shasta199931
Napa199816
Sutter188912
San Benito144915
El Dorado13684
Yuba133810
Mendocino115421
Tehama9219
Lassen7711
Lake70216
Glenn6793
Nevada6328
Humboldt56910
Colusa5536
Calaveras34721
Amador33716
Tuolumne2855
Inyo24015
Siskiyou2140
Mono1822
Del Norte1801
Mariposa812
Plumas760
Modoc450
Trinity280
Sierra60
Alpine40
Unassigned00
Chico
Overcast
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Hi: 80° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 55°
Oroville
Clear
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Hi: 80° Lo: 47°
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Paradise
Overcast
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Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 55°
Chester
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 34°
Red Bluff
Clear
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Hi: 81° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Willows
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 55°
We're closing out the month of October on a beautiful note weather-wise over northern California with plenty of sunshine and above-average temperatures. Halloween will bring slightly warmer temperatures and more sunshine.
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