Families Affected by Cascade Fire Slowly Get Back on Feet as Cleanup Continues

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LOMA RICA -- As firefighters battle raging, wind-driven wildfires in Southern California, many in Northern California are struggling to rebuild after similar devastation swept through their communities in October.

Regina Duarte's kids gave her an American flag for her birthday. It's now the only thing left from her Loma Rica home after the Cascade Fire.

"I don't want to take it down. I really don't," she said. "It's important that it stay there until I come home."

But that may be a long time.

"We can't even start to build until they do the test soiling and all of that," Duarte said.

Without insurance, Duarte and her husband also have to wait for help from FEMA and the Red Cross. They have been staying with family more recently, after they say they were given attitude by motels when they tried to use their FEMA vouchers.

"And he asked me, 'Well who's FEMA?' I said, 'Well FEMA's our government, don't you know that?' And he says, 'Well you tell him to bring me some money and you can stay here.' So I left," she told FOX40.

Many of Duarte's neighbors have moved into RV's on their own property. She's working on the same arrangement.

"We're going to have to get another pole so PG&E can tap into it," she said.

Seeing the devastation happening in Southern California breaks Duarte's heart. She says she's praying for the hundreds of people who have lost their homes.

"I know what they're going through," Duarte said. "It's something that I don't wish for anybody to go through."

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