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Karlstad Fire, One Year Later - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Karlstad Fire, One Year Later

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  One year ago, the sky was black around Karlstad, as high winds fueled a wildfire that wound up causing the evacuation of Karlstad.

Karen Olson, Karlstad: "It was bad, that's for sure."

Reporter: "Pretty scary ordeal?"

Olson: "Yeah, you can say that. I'm glad it's over and I hope it never happens again."

Susan Andersen, Karlstad: "It was very scary. There was so many people around here and we can only thank everybody that helped, because several homes would have been lost if we didn't have all those people here."

  Aircraft and fire crews from around the region battled the fire that wound up burning thousands of acres and destroying out buildings and 8 homes in Karlstad, including Kathy and Keith Briten's place. 

   Half of the 8 homes lost in the fire have been replaced. And although there's still only a hole where Kathy and Keith Bitten's house once stood, they plan to start rebuilding this fall.

Reporter: "Did this whole process take longer than you thought it would?"

Kathy Britten, Karlstad: "Yes, it did. I thought we would start almost right away, but I guess life gets in the way."

  While it was a frightening ordeal that no one here wants to experience again, one year later, things are basically,  back to normal in this town.

Sue Dufault, City Administrator: "I think so, yep, they are. I don't think anyone is quite over it. I think it's still a little raw, but we're getting there."

  Dufault says city officials are now working on plans to build a fire break around the city to try and make sure what happened one year ago, never happens again.

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