As fire chief in Kingsburg, a small town in California’s Central Valley, Tim Ray has done more than battle blazes in the past few years. Actual fires here are relatively few, in fact. These days, Ray, a trim 52-year-old with clipped moustache and gentle eyes, oversees a kind of volunteer medical transportation service, hustling patients from this idyllic town—settled by Swedish immigrants in the 1870s and still bedecked with “Välkommen” welcome signs—as far as 20 miles away, to a hospital in Fresno.
Across Montana’s rural Chouteau County, the name Francis Engellant has been synonymous with quiet generosity and diligent work for decades. Mr. Engellant, who farmed and ranched near Geraldine, saw purpose in helping wherever and whenever he could.
When Don Pfau was nine years old the Ohio and Scioto rivers, which form a crescent at his hometown of Portsmouth, swelled and flooded. Water washed over six-foot high walls and mud destroyed churches and schools. Yet, his most vivid memory of the catastrophe is how everyone immediately pitched in to help reconstruct the town and rebuild lives.
Teresa Bardwell, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Rural Development Specialist, Housing Counseling, possesses a wide range of training expertise on multiple topics and platforms at state, regional and national venues.
It has been nearly a year since a massive wildfire burned through Middletown in Lake County, California, enough time it would seem for some rebuilding and renewal. But the breadth of the devastation in this rugged area, says John Hamner, Callayomi County Water District (CCWD) general manager, has left seemingly irreversible scars.