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Wildfire

Volunteer Builders, Contractors Help Winterize Homes Damaged By Wildfire

A manufactured home in Medford barely survived the Almeda Fire, but it took some damage.
April Ehrlich | JPR News
A manufactured home in Medford barely survived the Almeda Fire, but it took some damage.

The Almeda Fire destroyed thousands of homes in Southern Oregon — and partially damaged hundreds more. A group of volunteers has come together to help those homeowners prepare for winter.

Jackson County just got hit with its first cold front of the season, with temperatures dipping into the twenties.

That was bad news for people who are living in homes that were damaged by the Almeda Fire this summer.

So a group of handymen, contractors and other builders have come together to volunteer their services.

“These are elderly people and some of the poorest of our citizens that are living in toxic conditions with homes that are not fully insulated or have holes in them because part of their houses burned,” says contractor John Palombo.

Palombo owns Ashland-based HandymanPlus Services. He helped organize more than 250 local builders who expressed an interest in donating labor to victims of the wildfire. They’re working under the newly formed Cascade Builders Association, which aims to raise $10,000 in two weeks to pay for materials.

Palombo says the group is already assessing homes and obtaining permits for repairs. Volunteers hope to have those repairs done by the end of November.