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Volunteers build sheds for Beachie Creek Fire survivors

A group with Associated General Contractors has built 70 sheds since starting the project last year, and they're still going.

STAYTON, Ore. — Two years after wildfires destroyed thousands of Oregon homes, people are still working to rebuild. The Beachie Creek fire, later part of the Santiam fire, claimed at least five lives and scorched nearly 200,000 acres.

Volunteers with the Associated General Contractors' (AGC) Oregon-Columbia chapter have dedicated themselves to using their skills in support of fire survivors who lost their homes in 2020.

"It's all about teamwork, you got folks here from all different abilities," said Bill Smith, one of the volunteers.

Those different abilities are harnessed toward the same goal — to build sheds for victims of the Beachie Creek Fire. The group started building them last year to give wildfire victims storage space during the rebuilding process. The project is entirely run through donations.

"Originally we were building these sheds for about $1,400 a shed. When lumber prices went through the roof, it got to almost $4,000 a shed ... so it kind of put the dampers on us," said Smith.

But the sky-high cost didn't stop them. They've built 70 sheds so far and hope to make 80 by the end of May.

"What's exciting is when you're building one up at the site or delivering one up and actually get to meet the people, you get to hear the story," Smith explained.

Credit: KGW
Diana McGuire, who lost her home in the Beachie Creek Fire, was one of the first people to receive one of the sheds from volunteers last year

Diana McGuire's story is one of those. She lost her home in the fire and now lives in a trailer on her property. Last year, McGuire was one of the first to get a shed from the volunteers.

"It's a godsend, I don't know what I would have done without it," said McGuire. "It instills hope, it's encouragement."

McGuire is able to safely store belongings in the shed as she rebuilds her home where it used to stand.

AGC is looking for volunteers to help build the sheds. You can contact AGC for more information.

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