If you're the kind of person who believes whatever he reads, then you might accept such a scene as the end of this story. But you haven't spent the last six months here.
"We are very happy to come out to our property and not have to see what we have lost," said Alaina Murray. On Tuesday, she and her husband, Scott, sat on the back of a pick-up truck, watching workmen clear the last of their destroyed home from the property. It's the first on Fern Lane.
"Is that progress?" we asked.
Progress in a region with so much more left to do -- 18,000 structures burned here. Eighty-six people died.
The reminders are everywhere.
Heavy trucks carrying debris fill the air with noise and dust.
FEMA says they make a combined 1,000 trips a day.
The Murrays watch crews clear away what used to be their home on Fern Lane in #Paradise six months after the #CampFire. He's a two-tour US Marine veteran of Afghanistan. She is six months pregnant. "Now we don't have to see what we lost." #abc7now Baby and fire? "Unrelated." pic.twitter.com/wvGnsJuL55— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) May 7, 2019
Rob Harmon drives one of them. He's a local who lost his house.
"We have cleaned up 1,400 of 14,000 lots," he said.
So when a local business re-opens, that's cause for celebration.
Meehos Mexican Restaurant did it by purchasing a food truck after benzene pollution in the water supply rendered the building unusable.
"They said anything from six months to a year or so," said Adi Riley. Her father owns the business.
Now at Meehos, customers take their plates from the truck and eat on the patio.
When benzene in the #Paradise water supply closes your mexican restaurant, what is a person to do? Buy a food truck. Meehos restaurant reopened a couple of weeks ago. Locals are happy to see another local business open up again. It's been tough in #Paradise. #abc7now pic.twitter.com/f5UqD0YZKi— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) May 7, 2019
It's almost like old times, they say. The new ones may take awhile.
But at least the dead-end attitude around here is long gone.
"We're just going to look to the future and hope for the best," said Alaina to Scott, back on Fern Lane.
"You're the cheerleader?" I asked.
Paradise has more than a few of them.
That said, this region has a long way to go. With most of the population gone, businesses are suffering and facing an uncertain future.
On Tuesday, Mayor Jodi Jones told us that in a recent poll, 51 percent of the fire victims intend to move back.
News photographer Jackie Sissel just shared this photo of me showing the working conditions we took for granted while reporting the #CampFire six moths ago.— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) May 7, 2019
Air is much better now. #Paradise #abc7now pic.twitter.com/tr0axvTYqw
Memorial to victims of the #CampFire six months ago. It's on the edge of town. For every one of 86 victims, a name and often, personal words. Tomorrow is the anniversary. #abc7now #Paradise pic.twitter.com/oVuXLFaMJ3— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) May 7, 2019
We have returned to Paradise, California, just short of six months to the day since the most destructive wildfire in California history. Found this just outside of town. #paradise #ABC7now pic.twitter.com/DePtccY4vO— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) May 7, 2019