The long road back for Paradise, California, residents has not even begun yet, and no one knows whether or not the journey will be successful, but if it is not, the failure will not be for lack of trying by some very dedicated residents.
In November, a fast-moving fire ripped through Paradise, but miraculously missed Paradise Alliance Church Pastor Tim Bolin’s house and church, but all three of his grown children’s homes were burned to the ground as thousands of residents clogged the roads after abandoning their homes fleeing for their lives.
Troubadour James Taylor had no idea he'd be speaking for so many in California when he wrote, "I've seen fire and I've seen rain," but that has been the theme in the Golden State for the last few months.
Pastor Tim Bolin pointed out that the deforestation caused by the devastating camp fire are causing problems downstream – now that the rains have come to California.
“We don't feel the effect of the rain as much as the valley below us feels it,” Bolin explained. “I talked to a game warden friend of mine who talked about how much debris is coming out of Paradise into the streams and becoming rivers and it's flooding out major roads in the valley.”
Bolin said that President Donald Trump's threat about a week or so ago to withhold FEMA funds from California – unless the state starts managing it woodlands – is getting mixed reactions.
No one in the devastated area wants to lose the funds, but it is argued that the state does need to stop pandering to environmentalists.
“The president was right,” Bolin asserted. “I don't fully agree that he needs to be pulling funds, but we need to get people's attention. Our new governor said, ‘Well, let's just put cameras in the forests.’ That isn't helping anybody.”
As for resurrecting Paradise, it is too early to tell whether this will become a reality. Many who fled the flames want to return, but Bolin maintains that there is a lot of literal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSE) to work through first.
“There is a sense that, yeah, we want to rebuild, and that's starting to be renewed,” Bolin concluded. “I tell you what, anybody out there, if you want to buy property here in about a year, it's going to be pretty cheap.”