Walbridge Fire survivors get assistance on recovery as communities repopulate

"Our home survived, it's a miracle," said Pamela Wunderlich as she stopped by Healdsburg High School, an assistance center for residents affected by wildfires.

ByCornell Barnard via KGO logo
Monday, August 31, 2020
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Survivors of the Walbridge Fire in Sonoma County are trying to recover and regroup this weekend.

GUERNEVILLE Calif. (KGO) -- Survivors of the Walbridge Fire in Sonoma County are trying to recover and regroup this weekend.

Local assistance centers are opening to help make the tough journey easier, as some evacuation orders are lifted, allowing residents to return home.

"Our home survived, it's a miracle," said Pamela Wunderlich.

Wunderlich came to this new local assistance center at Healdsburg High School, looking for some help.

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"I applied for FEMA assistance," she said.

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Her home was saved but four outbuildings burned, housing props and costumes from her longtime career as a stilt walker.

"All of my costumes from back in 1987 are gone, so yeah," Wunderlich added.

This center was a one stop shop for recovery resources.

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"A lot of people are still processing what's happening, ongoing evacuation orders, some people don't know if their homes are still intact," said Spokesperson Stuart Tiffen.

Hillary Price and her two cats have not been allowed to return home near Lake Sonoma, she's still unsure if the Walbridge fire damaged her home.

"Not knowing where I'm going or what I'm doing, it's been confusing," Price said.

In Guerneville, another assistance center is set up for residents a Bank of America branch.

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The town is coming back to life, now that most evacuation orders have been lifted and fire danger has passed.

Restaurants and shops are reopening and customers are back.

"We heard there were some closures, we saw cars coming back, let's take a drive this way," said James Goodwin from Brentwood.

Guerneville residents are resilient and thankful to those who protected this community.

"We're grateful to the firefighters and first responders, they saved the town and this place," said restaurant manager Edgar Guzman.

The local assistance centers in Sonoma County will be open through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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