• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 53s

Episode 25: Rising up from the Ashes

By KTVA Alaska 6:11 PM October 18, 2015

It’s hard to believe it’s only been four months since wildfires swept through the Willow area, destroying 55 homes and dozens of other buildings.

Many did not have insurance. Some couldn’t afford it. Others weren’t eligible, due to building code requirements or their location. Even those with insurance have not had an easy time of it.

A lot has happened since our last Frontiers program on the wildfire, which aired a week after it blackened more than 7,000 acres and caused an estimated $8 million in damages.

This week, we follow up on the disaster and look the Willow Recovery Project’s work. The group — a mix of agency representatives, local and church organizations — meets every Tuesday at the Willow Methodist Church. They have a long “to-do list” they’ve been working through with great care, matching the needs with services. The group has worked hard to stretch its cash, with help from volunteers and other donations.

The Recovery Project has a lot to be proud of, given how much progress has been made since June 14, when green homesteads were suddenly transformed into blackened wastelands of rubble and twisted metal.

Krista Fee, who heads up the Willow Recovery Team, says every family has a story that would break your heart. But those same families also have stories of strength and resilience, which are inspiring.

This week we look at a few of those, including veteran Iditarod musher DeeDee Jonrowe.

After losing just about everything in the fire – dogsleds, outdoor clothing, mushing gear and snowmachines – she’s on the comeback trail, training for the 2016 Iditarod.

Our guests this week are Krista Fee and Alan Budahl, director of Lutheran Social Services of Alaska. They say donations and volunteers are needed now, more than ever, to make sure homes in the process of being rebuilt, at least have a roof on them and a source of heat before winter. Here’s a link for details on how you can help.

Krista says many of the homes in the project have been built by school teachers and retirees. She calls the outpouring of support a “very Alaskan thing.”

Latest Stories

  • News

    Pride Fest celebrates 40 years in Anchorage

    by Heather Hintze on Jun 24, 18:04

    Hundreds of people turned out in downtown Anchorage for the 40th annual Pride Fest. Mo Haddock and Callene Monasmith set their lawn chairs up early to get a front for the parade. “It’s a lot of fun. We like to people watch anyway but today is very fulfilling. Very heartwarming to see so many people […]

  • News

    Here’s what is pushing up U.S. home prices

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:53

    When it comes to buying a home in the U.S., the tide is turning in favor of sellers. The typical residential property that’s up for sale currently stays on the market for 77 days, according to Zillow — that’s the shortest listing time since the real estate service started tracking the data. While demand for […]

  • Mom left 2 children who died in hot car as punishment, police say

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:35

    A Texas woman told investigators that she left her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son in a hot car last month to teach the girl a lesson, police said. The children died after spending several hours in the car. Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, was being held Saturday on two counts of causing serious bodily injury to […]

  • Six inmates who saved guard’s life rewarded with shorter sentences

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:32

    Officer down. It’s one of the scariest calls a sheriff can receive. But when Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats got that call on June 12, it didn’t turn into the nightmare scenario he might have expected. On the contrary, that hair-raising call was the start of something heartwarming. Its unexpected source? A group of selfless […]

  • Lifestyle

    How would the Senate health care bill actually affect Medicaid?

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:26

    Democrats and left-leaning think tanks say Senate Republicans’ health care bill would be disastrous for individuals and families on Medicaid, the federal program that provides health coverage to low-income Americans. But White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday said President Trump is “committed to making sure that no one who currently is in the […]

  • News

    How the U.S. Army counters North Korea threats

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:23

    SEOUL, South Korea — While “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell and her team were in South Korea, the U.S. Army took CBS News on an aerial tour to give us a first-hand look at what they are doing to counter threats from North Korea. We hitched a ride from Yongsan Army Garrison on a […]

  • News

    Inside the Gates: JRTC brings new challenges

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 24, 14:07

    Alaska’s 4-25 Airborne Brigade Combat Team has been at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, for the last month. It’s a very different place than the Last Frontier and has been presenting the soldiers with new challenges. The mission at JRTC is to liberate a fictional country called Atropia. It prepares […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaskans rally ahead of U.S. Senate health care vote

    by Daniella Rivera on Jun 24, 13:15

    Dozens of Alaskans took to the Delaney Park Strip Friday with signs in hand to demanding their U.S. senators take a stand against the Senate’s proposed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. T The bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, includes significant cuts to Medicaid and defunds Planned Parenthood for a […]