SANTA ROSA, CA — Ina D. has not been home since she and her family fled from the Santa Rosa wildfires early Monday morning of last week.
This is the closest she’s been since.
The National Guard has barricaded the entrance to her neighborhood and is only allowing police, fire fighters, and PG&E inside.
“It’s been more clear to us that we’re not going to live a normal life anymore. It’s never going to be the same again,” she said.
According to Ina, her home is the only one still standing in her neighborhood for blocks.
“We’ve been in contact with insurance and all that, and based on the photo that we have of our house, that it looks like it’s going to have extensive smoke damage, and we can’t even go home to it for at least six months to a year.”
Ina and her family are currently staying with friends in Petaluma — 30 minutes south of Santa Rosa — and have been in contact with her neighbors.
“We’ve been texting a lot. Just checking on each other and if they already found a home to stay in, because everyone is going to move. Most of them are going to rebuild and it’ll take two to three years.”
Ina says her family hopes to stay in Santa Rosa but there is difficulty finding their own place because of a lack of housing.
However, she already has a builder ready to work on her house. But first they need the barricade lifted so the insurance company can check the home and the rebuilding can begin.
“There’s still a long way to go for us, but day by day we just focus on one thing at a time. We’re getting there.”
As the fires continue to be contained, residents across Sonoma County are being allowed back into their home however many neighborhoods are without power, and officials are advising that people still use face masks.