Tours
New homes being built to withstand wildfires after so many people have lost their homes to flames
What a brilliant idea!
Irene Markianou
06.08.22

In 2018, California experienced the deadliest, most destructive, and most expensive- in terms of insured losses- wildfire in its history.

YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning

More than 13 thousand homes were burnt down, while 85 people died, and the town that once indeed looked like paradise, ended up looking like hell.

But some time after the fire, people who lived there started considering rebuilding and taking their lives back.

YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning

“You know, I think a lot of people had their doubts about how many people would rebuild,” Mike Petersen, who owns a store that luckily survived the wildfire, said. “It’s nice to see the progress for sure,” he added.

But rebuilding in Paradise was not an easy decision. Many of those who lost their homes- or even their loved ones- couldn’t stop thinking about what will happen if there is another wildfire in the future.

YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning

So, some of them had an idea that, in a way, was a key for them to rebuild in the same area without worrying about a new wildfire too much.

If you’re not familiar with Quonset huts, then it’s time you got. You see, Quonset huts, hundreds of thousands of which were produced during WWII, are built using corrugated galvanized steel, making them a fire-proof construction.

YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning

As Vern Sneed, owner of Design Horizons and designer of the Q Cabin Kits, explains, these homes have been designed to “withstand even the most severe California conditions”.

“It’s non-combustible,” he says. “It’s a product that you can’t really light on fire.”

YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning

Although the company doesn’t call these houses fire-proof, given that there are several factors such as what goes on and what there is around the house itself, Sneed admits that it’s as close as you can get to that.

And, given that climate change is already happening and you can never know what might happen in a few years, Sneed says that these non-combustible homes are probably what people should be going for from now on.

YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning

But, besides the home rebuilding and the financial losses that people went through because of the Camp Fire, many of them seem to have changed their minds about what is really important in life.

“[The fire] transformed a lot of the people here,” Gwen Nordgren, president of Paradise Lutheran church says, and she goes on to explain. “People just let go of their need to control because we all learned that there is no such thing.”

YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning

The building that once hosted their pastor will also be a Q Cabin and Nordgren is happy about that.

“We’re so excited about [it] because you know it’s all going to be new and beautiful, and fire resistant, which is on most people’s minds and it’s really happening,” she said.

The building in question will be rented out to four families and generate income for the church, which sadly lost half of its members in the fire.

YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sunday Morning

What an inspiring story of rebuilding the paradise “lost”.

Head over to the video below and watch people talking about their plans and the future of the town.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Irene Markianou
hi@sbly.com
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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