PARADISE, Calif. - The Paradise Fire Department is fully staffed just in time for the heat of Summer.
Station 82 now joins Station 81 in serving the community once again.
Paradise Fire Captain Shane Hollstrom dedicated his life to protecting his home of Paradise.
But the Camp Fire was too powerful.
“The lower end was already burning from the spotting across the town, it was burning over my truck coming in but I was able to get here… it was time to do our job and do what we’d been trained to do,” Hollstrom said.
That was six months ago, and Hollstrom’s been working out of the area after Station 82 in Paradise shut down; there was no money to keep it open - until now.
“Today’s actually my first day back, I didn’t want to leave to begin with,” Hollstrom said.
He’ll be working out of Station 81.
“You can see all the work that’s going on in the town, some people have returned and we’re coming in to summer so we recommended to the town to fund station 82, fund the personnel so there’s a fully functioning fire department in the town of paradise,” said Cal Fire Captain John Gaddie
It’s an extra investment, but the town decided it was worth it to defend against the likelihood of grass fires in the southern area in the coming months.
Plus, a fully staffed department could help in the rebuilding process.
“Many people who didn’t lose their homes are having their insurance dropped, so having a closed fire station is a component for insurance companies to look at when they’re assessing risk factors,” Gaddie said.
Hollstrom says it’s good to be back, the game’s changed.
“The wildland season is back upon us again and I’m ready to go! Am I excited to fight the fires? No, that’s changed a little bit inside, but I still love my job and still want to be of help in any way that I can and I’m ready for the fires," he said.
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