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CONCOW, Calif. – Jesse Olson and Craig Wilcox lost more than just their home in the Camp Fire, they also lost a handful of farm animals.
Their struggle to rebuild will be featured on the Discovery Channel show “Homestead Rescue.”
They shared their story with Action News Now and how they want to use their blessings to help their community recover.
“A few minutes later one of the kids came upstairs knocked on the door and told me there’s a fire mom,” Olson said. “And I said where and he said everywhere.”
Olson is a disabled veteran and said during evacuation her military training kicked in.
“I didn’t expect that I got out in 95, but it was just like ok we’re just going to do this,” Olson said.
They, along with their two adopted sons, Riley and Liam, are living in a trailer on their 10-acre property in Concow.
“That was supposed to be their forever home, the one place they would never fear to go home to,” Olson said. “And then the fire happened and we were afraid they’d be scared to come back."
A fear their sons quickly put to rest.
“Riley looked at me and said Dad, this is our home, why would we leave,” Wilcox said.
Olson added that their kids still want this place, it’s their home even though it might not look like the home they had before.
Things are slowly coming together thanks to the help of a TV program called "Homestead Rescue." The show claims that cast members Marty, Matt, and Misty Raney use their building, farming, and hunting expertise to help people who strive to live a simpler, off the grid lifestyle.
"I can say that if they [Homestead Rescue] hadn't come and done the work that they did, we would not be sitting here right now living on our property, already," Olson said.
Wilcox added, that the crews gave them enough that they could get their animals back up onto their property.
The couple had 200 animals prior to the Camp Fire. The Homestead Rescue show helped to bring back 75 of their animals to their property, the family sold the rest of their surviving animals.
“We can start homesteading again, which has been my dream since I was five-years-old,” Olson said.
The family is now paying it forward and using their goats to help reduce fuels in the community.
“Our goats are firefighters, if it weren’t for our goats, our animals wouldn’t be alive today,” Olson said.
Alive and moving forward.
Olson added, even without their house, they are living their lifestyle again.
“We are living the way we used to live before the fire and it feels like home again,” Olson said.
If you’d like to get in touch with the family to use their goats for fuel reduction, CLICK HERE.
The segment airs on Feb. 27 on the Discovery Channel.