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One-Stop Shop Held For Big Sur Residents Who Lost Everything In Fire

By Jake Reiner, Reporter, JakeReiner@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Jan 03 2014 08:30:52 PM CST

The Pfeiffer Fire burned nearly 1,000 acres in Big Sur last month, and while firefighters were able to save 24 homes from burning to the ground, 34 were not saved. Those who once lived there now have nothing.

Friday, in an effort to help these victims, 11 county, state, and federal organizations set up a "one-stop shop" for homeowners to help them get back on their feet. Birth certificates, driver's licenses, and passports are all documents that were available. Most residents lost all of those essentials, including the roof they live under.

One local photographer, Kodiak Greenwood, is starting over, as 33 years of memories, photographs, and his home are all disintegrated into ash.

"I'm very scattered right now," says Greenwood, who's entire physical photograph collection was lost.

But Greenwood has decided to look at a tragic event in a different way.

"Right now I got a clean start and a positive outlook on rebuilding my life from square one," he said.

Greenwood checked out state agencies like the Franchise Tax Board, others got their driver's licenses renewed at the DMV or met with the county to start with the rebuilding process.

Now Greenwood will start a new album, and a new chapter in his life.

"I just kind of want to hit the ground running, and be back where I was. I'm most happy when I'm working," he said.

The Pfeiffer Fire wasn't big enough to get federal or state aid. The local assistance center was only open Friday. The county said that if people missed their opportunity, they may bring some agencies back.

The county's hazardous materials team took to the burned areas on Thursday and sorter out the dangerous material. This was in an effort to speed up the process for homeowners to get back to their homes and to make it easier for the state hazmat team to remove the harmful waste.

The state's hazmat team will assess the damage Monday and remove waste Tuesday.