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Civil Grand Jury report reveals that only about one third of the homes lost in CZU fire are being rebuilt

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) –A new grand jury report for victims of the czu fire in august 2020 is shedding light on the rebuilding process or lack there of.  The report revealing only about one third of the homes lost in CZU fire are being rebuilt. Some either selling their homes or choosing not to go through the permit process.

The report states that of the close to 700 homes destroyed, 444 are not rebuilding. 

People who live in the boulder creek area are taking a hit. 

“Hitting people really hard and they don’t plan on coming back which is sad because this is a small community," Alice Kogan who lives in Boulder Creek said.

Rick Scott lives in Boulder Creek. He remembers that day well. 

“We got a reverse 911 call and I had already seen the sky and I knew it was serious so when we got there 911 reverse 911 we just packed up and left," Rick Scott from Boulder Creek said. “We know about four or five people that have gone into the rebuilding process.

The report investigating saying the emergency preparedness and public education related to natural disasters were lacking and the recovery and rebuilding continues to plague and frustrate fire victims.

"It was two years from the end of the fire before we had that wall finished and was the county some of it, but only a fraction and if you look  at the complications of all the other processes they take months to get through," Gerald Smith from Boulder Creek said.

The county hired a third-party company called 4 Leaf, the hope is it will speed up the permitting process. 

"A third-party, and overlook, making sure that we do all the best practices when it comes to kind of streamlining for our own permitting process and I think I’m looking forward to looking at those results," Felipe Hernandez Santa Cruz county board of supervisors said.

The county will have to respond to the grand jury report by September 19.

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Briana Mathaw


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