PARADISE, Calif. - Construction crews have been working hard to rebuild Paradise for over two years, but there are still empty lots and even more people who want to come back.
"We were nothing but a pile of ash," Ken Blaton, a Paradise local and Camp Fire survivor, mentioned.
Ken has lived in Paradise for nearly three decades. After losing everything in the fire, he wanted to rebuild.
There has been one question that is still on his and on the minds of many others: How much money am I going to get from the Fire Victim Trust?
Monday was the first day the Fire Victim Trust began distributing the first round of pro-rata payments, but it has been a long and difficult process for many affected by the fires.
As a builder, Ken has seen first-hand the struggles locals are facing to rebuild.
Frustrated, all he and thousands of others have been doing is waiting.
"A lot of people are like, 'Hey, we are waiting for our PG&E money, we are waiting to sell whatever property,’” he explained. “There is just a lot of people telling us that they are waiting for funds. Then we have people coming in now going, ‘Hey, we are either going to have to move away from here or we are going to try and see if we can get a loan because we don't know where the money is going to be or if there is going to be any money.’”
Like many locals, he wants to see Paradise thrive.
Ken continued, "The deal is, a lot of people aren't okay. A lot of people do need this money to survive."
The trust's first pro-rata payment will be 30% of the total approved claim amount.
While today is the first day of payments is today, the trust said there will be more rounds of additional payments until the fund is drained.