KOIN 6 reported extensively on 2020’s disastrous wildfires and the destruction left in their wake. This article is the first in a series that will highlight communities affected by the fires and how they are building back now.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Over the past 18 months, Oregonians have faced challenge after challenge — from the pandemic to unrest to some of the most devastating wildfires in the United States’ history.

“It wasn’t like a wall of fire,” said one resident said. “It was raining fire.”

Fueled by an Eastern windstorm, the catastrophic fires claimed more than one million acres and hundreds of homes in Oregon.

“Houses all around you are gone, just gone,” another resident said.

Throughout the state, 11 people died and thousands had to leave everything behind on a moment’s notice.

Detroit City Hall was destroyed. The fire district had an administrative office inside. They had to leave their rig behind in order to help 76 people evacuate the town.

The 6 major fires in 2020 saw an equally intense response from thousands of firefighters who risked their lives to defend fellow Oregonians and their homes.

“This community will take care of the community,” said a Marion County firefighter. “We’ll take care of each other.”

Now, communities across the state continue to rebuild from the fires that torched the state one year ago.

“We’re not done here,” one resident said. “Nature is very resilient and so are we. We will create a new life.”