Frustrated Clover Fire victims meet to discuss rebuilding homes
Frustration continues in Shasta County for the victims of September’s Clover Fire.
Many are still waiting on permits to rebuild their homes after the more than 8,000 acre wildfire destroyed their property.
Several victims gathered Saturday morning at the Ono-Igo Community Church along with Shasta County officials. Shasta County District Two Supervisor Leonard Moty and Building Division Manager Dale Fletcher were in attendance and answering questions.
Victims were told by county officials that the process of rebuilding would be streamlined for them. The victims said that has not quite happened.
"We were told that things would move along a lot faster than they have,” said Douglas Atkins, the Igo Fire Station 50 Chief.
He organized Saturday’s meeting. Atkins lost his home in the Clover Fire while helping to battle the blaze.
“I can understand their [lack of] staffing, which was explained today and that helped,” said Atkins.
According to Fletcher, a total of 87 building permits have been issued by the county as of Saturday and a few more are still pending.
"We only have two people who do plan checks so obviously when you have hundreds of them coming in each month it is a process,” Moty said.
Much of the discussion centered around updated building codes. Victims had the chance to voice those concerns.
“The county can only afford to hire so many people to take care of this,” said Moty. “But again, we have made clover fire victims a priority for us."
The fire is still fresh in many of their minds.
The Clover Fire required more than 1,500 firefighters to contain it and cost more than $7.3 million to fight, while causing more than $6.5 million in damages.
Arson was ruled as the cause of the Clover Fire according to CAL FIRE officials.
Zane Wallace Peterson, 29, of Happy Valley was taken into custody Dec. 17 by CAL FIRE law enforcement officers. He faces charges of one count of murder, 70 counts of arson and three enhancements.
Most prominently he is charged with starting the Clover Fire which burned 8,073 acres in Sep. 2013 destroying nearly 200 structures and threatening over 500.
Peterson is charged with the murder of Brian Henry, a 55-year-old Happy Valley man who refused to leave his home during the Clover Fire and died protecting his family’s and neighbor’s homes from the flames.
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