For some of Mariposa County residents, the smell of the Big Meadow fire in Yosemite brings back too many memories of last year's Telegraph fire. Over 20 homes were destroyed last summer. With only 13 permits for re-building granted from the county so far, one wonders where the other families are living, and how they're doing.
Steve and Linda Hakanson lost their home of 15 years--and all of their belongings, except for what they carried out with them, after very short notice that they would have to evacuate. It hasn't been an easy year, but there have been many blessings. Including the fact that his mom's home, also on the property, wasn't burned. That's where they've been living for all these months.
Last week they spent the first night in a new mobile home on their original home-site, and enjoyed their beloved views of the canyon and mountains beyond. There's still a lot of work to do to the property, including planting new rose bushes.
Even with the headaches and mounds of paperwork for the insurance company and re-doing everything to meet with new county codes, they're grateful for those who came to help the fire victims, for clothing, furniture and toys that were given to them, and for the new friendships that were made, with volunteers who dug through the rubble and provided daily necessities when electricity was still off for weeks afterward.
One media reporter, writing about the fire in Los Angeles, even mentioned for those who believe in God, to please pray. Tragedy will often cause a person to look up.