Rebuilding after the Courtney Fire near Bass Lake

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Work is underway to rebuild some of the 30 homes that burned to the ground during last year's Courtney Fire near Bass Lake. (KFSN)

Work is underway to rebuild some of the 30 homes that burned to the ground during last year's Courtney Fire near Bass Lake.

The sound of saws is music to the ears of residents in Bass Lake Heights. Crews are building more than a half dozen new homes to replace others that burned down during the Courtney Fire last September. Some are just getting started and others are fully framed.

Nancy Vusich says the construction is a welcome sight after so much destruction. She was heartbroken for several neighbors who lost everything when the fire charred more than 300 acres. Authorities say it was started by a man burning a deer carcass. He's now facing arson charges, and this community is trying to move forward.

Randy Papike is building a new cabin style chalet for a husband and wife who planned to retire in the home they lost. It's right next door to his brother's house, which was spared by the flames.

"It's amazing what the fire department did to save all these old houses," said Papike. "It's amazing they didn't all go up."

Officials say some of the fire victims are sadly selling their properties because of insurance issues, and others are still in limbo. But Madera County has waived permit and demolition fees to ease the burden on those who want to rebuild.

Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler said, "Everything we can do to help them we've done it because we want them back in their homes."

And now Wheeler is also reminding everyone to have plenty of clearance around their homes as we head into another high risk fire season.



Related Topics:
firewildfirearsonBass Lake
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