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Coffey Park at sunset, January 22, 2018 in Santa Rosa. Rainwater pools in a cleared lot from the Tubbs fire. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2018

Six months, post firestorm.

Time does not stand still.  Well, maybe it does if one is waiting for their child to be born, baseball season to start or stuck in Bay Area traffic. Marking the anniversary of an event is something we all do, whether it’s good or bad.  Sunday was the six month anniversary of wildfires that tore at the heart of Sonoma County; on the ninth of October, our community began the painstaking process of grieving and rebuilding what was lost in those first frenetic, horrific hours. For the staff of the Press Democrat, there is rarely a day we are not in the fire zone reporting stories.  There are so, so many stories to tell of angst and renewal and of heartbreak and loss.

There’s been less than 10 days in the past six months I haven’t been in the fire zone while working. It’s hard not to relive what happened that night as I cruise through neighborhoods working on one story or another. I think we all relive those days, directly affected or not.

At times I feel I’m living through a macabre Stephen King novel.

Having documented the 2015 Valley fire in Lake County from the beginning to the end of the first year, I realize just how different the fires that swept through Sonoma County were, but also how much that has not changed in regards to mental and physical trauma.  I could write much more about what I’ve personally witnessed, but obviously, the pictures say much more than I ever could.

 

A sign off Dogwood Drive in Coffey Park, February 27, 2018. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2018

 

Sisters Lynn Van Fleit, left, and Susan Komar, with husband Chris Wednesday, April 4, 2018, lost their homes in Fountaingrove and Coffey Park, respectively, to the Tubbs fire in October 2017. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2018

 

On Astaire Court in Coffey Park a new home goes up late in to a winter afternoon, Thursday March 8, 2018 in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Humberto Anaya of Orman and Associates Pool Demolition of Danville, demolishes a Larkfield Pool from the inside out, Wednesday March 21, 2018. Several pools in the are are being taken out and backfilled because of the Tubbs fire. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

On Astaire Court in Coffey Park a new home is reflected in a burned lot flooded with rainwater, Wednesday March 21, 2018 in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

A blacktail deer looks grazes for spring vegetation at Pepperwood Preserve, March 20, 2018. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2017

 

Travis Broadhead, left, and Cordell Meiburg 19, play hoops in front of the razed home of the Broadhead family, January 18, 2018 in Coffey Park. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2018

 

In Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park, Wednesday March 21, 2018. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Builder-owner Ron Chaney, Wednesday March 21, 2018 is using the existing facade to rebuild the home his father built in 1984 after it was partially gutted by the Tubbs fire in Coffey Park. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

A homeowner in Hidden Valley requests to keep the driveway to their razed home, Wednesday March 21, 2018 in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

A crow munches on cat food in Coffey Park Tubbs fire zone, Wednesday March 21, 2018 in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Argonaut Constructors Marco Dani hoses down dust and ash as excavator operator Thommy Palmer Jr. clears a home off Oak Haven Court in the Hidden Hills subdivision near Santa Rosa, Thursday April 5, 2018. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2018

 

Jeremy May and Mark Valdez walk past burned and stacked cars from the Tubbs fire zone off Shiloh Road in Windsor, Thursday April 5, 2018. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

 

Santa Rosa resident Heather DeHan of Tetra Tech monitors the safety of workers on the cleanup process of a structure in Larkfield, Thursday April 5, 2018. The hearts on her helmet are for every lot she has cleaned (40) since the October firestorm. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2018

 

California Poppies join in the colorful cacophony of cream cups, or Platystemon californicus (species of California poppies) wildflowers rising from the ashes of the burned landscape at Pepperwood Preserve, Monday March 26, 2018 near Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Fine wood finisher and author Tracy Raptis of Novato is collaborating with mixed media sculptor Peter Phibbs on bringing back to life burned cypress trees at Paradise Ridge Winery, Friday March 30, 2018 in Santa Rosa. Some of the works will be installed in the temporary tasting room and may be sold to raise money for charities and non-profits. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Wildflowers take root under a burned tree at the Mayacamas Ranch near Calistoga, Tuesday March 27, 2018 . (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

California buttercups rise from the ashes and below the singed outlines of oak trees at the Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen, Wednesday March 28, 2018. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

The forest floor, shaded by burned fir and bay trees comes to life as a fern stretches from the burned ground off Franz Valley Road near Calistoga, Tuesday March 27, 2018. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Jerry Buhrz home escaped the wrath of the Tubbs fire in October, one of the few standing in Fountaingrove, Tuesday March 27, 2018 in Santa Rosa. However, he and his wife Serene have yet to move back to their home due to the benzene in the water and various other issues. Buhrz was the first to report to the city that there was a problem with the water after noticing a smell coming out of the faucets in his home. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Grant Sherwood, left, Friday March 23, 2018, takes a final look around an aging English walnut tree on his family’s cleared lot in Larkfield, severely damaged by the October Tubbs fire. The Sherwood family had to have the tree removed. At right, Brandy Sherwood and her daughter June talk with woodworker Andrew Somawang, who will be making a table out of the wood from the tree. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Brandy and Brad Sherwood, Friday March 23, 2018, watch as crews cut down an English walnut tree on their burned home site, damaged by the October Tubbs fire in Larkfield. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Heavy rain caused a small debris flow on Adobe Canyon Road in Kenwood, Thursday March 22, 2018 in the Nuns fire zone. A county crew was called out to clear the road of rocks and mud. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Daniel Rogers, his brother Chuck and his mom Phyllis Rogers listen intently during the Mark West rebuilding meeting at Mark West Elementary, Wednesday March 21, 2018 in Larkfield. Their mother Phyllis lost her home to the Tubbs fire in Larkfield. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

The Mark West rebuilding meeting at Mark West Elementary, Wednesday March 21, 2018 in Larkfield. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

A tree removal company takes down a burned tree in Coffey Park, Tuesday March 13, 208 in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

A debris truck rolls along Highway 101 near College Ave., Tuesday March 6, 2018 in Santa Rosa. There is a marked increase in big rigs due to the clean-up caused by the October 2017 fires in Sonoma County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Sonoma State University president Judy Sakaki wipes away a tear as she and her husband Patrick McCallum, left, reunite with Santa Rosa firefighter Tony Niel who along with another firefighter, rescued the two in Fountaingrove during the early hours of the Tubbs fire in October. Sakaki honored the firefighters during the Project: Rebuild, sponsored by the North Bay Business Journal at the Double Tree Hotel in Rohnert Park, Friday March 2, 2018. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

in Kenwood, a rainbow makes a brief appearance above the Nuns fire ravaged Mayacamas Mountains as a winter storm rolls through Sonoma County, Thursday March 1, 2018. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Supervisor James Gore, right, comforts fellow supervisor Susan Gorin, Tuesday Feb. 27, 2018 in Santa Rosa at the Board of Supervisors after she gave an emotional critique of the county’s alert system to the October fires. Gorin lost her home during the firestorm. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Rick Lopes, Chief of Public Affairs of the Contractors State License Board is interviewed by a KRON 4 television reporter after a press conference highlighting a recent sting operation netting several unlicensed contractors who were out to defraud fire victims. The press conference was held in Coffey Park in conjunction with the Sonoma County District Attorney. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2018

 

The super moon sets next to a damaged Pocket fire tree off Geysers Road, as it emerges from the Earth’s shadow, Wednesday Jan. 31, 2018 above the Alexander Valley. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Jan Verspecht’s Fountaingrove home survived the October firestorm, but a new problem has risen after tests found benzene in the drinking water. On Friday Jan. 26, 2018, Verspecht filled his home brewing containers with potable water supplied by the City of Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Jan Verspecht’s Fountaingrove home survived the October firestorm, but a new problem has arisen after tests found benzene in the drinking water. On Friday Jan. 26, 2018 Santa Rosa city worker Marcial Gonzalez trucked in potable water to fill containers for the family to use in cooking and drinking. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Jill and her husband Arthur Dawson in the trailer they call home after the Nuns fire in Glen Ellen took out their home in October. A neighbor of the Dawson family purchased a trailer for the couple to live in and a smaller one for their teenage son, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Michael Wagner walks through a burned portion of his land in Foothill Ranch near Santa Rosa, Monday Jan. 15, 2018, the trees decimated by the Tubbs fire in October 2017. Among the variety are fir, madrone and oak trees. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Mark Neumann, 32, helps his mother Debbie Neumann maneuver around her burned Fountaingrove home, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. Evan Neumann, right, 45, and his brother Mark were arrested on their way to sift debris at the home for being in the fire zone curfew and charged with misdemeanors. They were attempting to retrieve family belongings before the first rain set in. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2018

 

Anthony Azevedo, 10, of Windsor, gets high fives after clubbing a home run during the Fastball Strike One Sonoma/Napa Fire Benefit Baseball Clinic at the Epicenter in Santa Rosa, Friday Jan. 5, 2017. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2018

 

Houston Evans Jr., in front of his childhood home off Dennis Lane, Friday Dec. 29, 2017 where his mother, Valerie Evans, perished in the Tubbs fire in October. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2017

 

The home of Art and Seiko Grant, Dec. 28, 2017, who lived on Sundown Trail in Mark West lost their lives when the Tubbs fire roared through in October 2017. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2017.

 

Michael Russo, right, greets his physician Ele Lozares-Lewis in newly installed “Clinic in a Can”, shipping containers that have been converted in to exam rooms at Santa Rosa Community Health in Santa Rosa, Thursday Dec. 28, 2017. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2017

 

Worker continue to clear homes razed by the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove community, December 26, 2017. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat) 2017

 

Josh Bade, 9, and Maya Veal 9, relax in donated stuffed animals for Sonoma County fire victims, as their parents help to clean up the donation center, Wednesday Dec. 27, 2017 as the center is being closed in downtown Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2017

 

Edison Chan brings a little Christmas cheer to the cleaned lot of his family’s Rincon Ridge home in Fountaingrove, Wednesday Dec. 20, 2017. The family and their neighbors lost just about everything as the Tubbs fire swept through, burning thousands of homes in Fountaigrove and Santa Rosa in October. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2017

 

Pacific Gas and Electric lineman Derek Leonard checks a fuse cutout as workers restore power to Coffey Park, Tuesday Dec. 19, 2017. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2017

 

A sign painted on debris in Coffey Park directs Santa at a burned home in Coffey Park. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

-Kent Porter