PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The devastating Labor Day wildfires in 2020 are still fresh memories for those who lived through them, including leaders from across Oregon. On Monday, an Oregon House special committee met to discuss wildfire recovery.

In 2020, the Beachie Creek and Lionshead complex fires burned a combined total of nearly 400,000 acres.

The Almeda Fire left a trail of devastation behind in Southern Oregon. Hundreds of homes and businesses across Talent and Phoenix were destroyed.

Some of the leaders gave updates to the committee and said they’ve made progress, but there is more work to do.

Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith talked about the moment she was forced to evacuate and stayed away for more than a month.

“What I saw was horrific and it was dangerous,” Smith said. She added the danger still remains on Highway 224.

Despite the long road ahead, communities remain hopeful.

“Tell you this, Phoenix is rising,” Phoenix Mayor Terry Baker said. “You’re going to see what you focus on and what I’ve seen is silver linings in the way of communities coming together.”

The work by the special committee will not directly impact bills. But Committee Chair Sen. Chris Gorsek told KOIN 6 News he’s also the co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety and is putting together a list of recommendations for the omnibus bill.

He said he will submit it at the end of next week.