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"As much as they can," said Nettie Carroll, a science teacher at the local school who also works at Big Creek General Store. "And you know, everything's new. You look at the trees and the plants, you know, just those little bits of green and it's like look, there's hope."
Carroll was evacuated as the fire spread from its point of origin near Camp Sierra. It would eventually burn down dozens of homes, including Carroll's, but that became the least of her concerns.
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"My husband... he stayed behind, and he wanted to try to save the house," she recounted. "I had spoken to my husband, he told me the house was gone. And then I didn't hear from him for a long time. It was sad to lose the house, but at this point, it really didn't mean anything compared to: was my husband okay?"
As she was making her way past Shaver Lake and towards the Valley floor, Carroll received a call. It was her husband.
"When I saw that he was calling me and I saw his name on my phone, I was utterly relieved. So in the midst of all this burning and loss, there's this huge relief that everybody's okay."
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That's the mindset Carroll has taken a year after the Creek Fire burned through her mountain community: instead of mourning what was lost, she's grateful that every life was saved.
"There's hope here. Sure, it's been a year, it does not feel like it's been a year," she explained. "Moment by moment, I'm just going to enjoy life and just like take it all in. All we can do is take it day to day, one day at a time."
VIDEO: Mountain Strong: Surviving the Creek Fire