SUPERIOR, Colo. (KDVR) — As FEMA-funded debris removal picks up in neighborhoods destroyed by the Marshall Fire, those who lost everything are uncovering new emotions and sentimental value in this milestone.
Marshall Fire debris removal, that’s what the process is officially called, but for Stephanie Baer and her neighbors what’s being picked up is far more than debris.
“This is our lives, it’s not debris, it’s important things that are there and are going into a dumpster and we’ll never recover,” Baer said.
Baer raised her two girls in her home in Sagamore. She got the call Friday that their address is coming up for clearing.
“It was emotional. In some ways, I’m just very numb with what’s happening but I was very grateful that there’s movement moving forward,” Baer said. “And in the same breath, I felt this huge need to get back out there to do one last sifting to see if we could find anything else.”
Sifting alone for a final time on Easter Sunday, Baer found sentimental treasures bringing her to tears.
“One of the most touching things was I found the key to our front door. So I’m taking all the symbolism for what it is and it means something,” Baer said.
Bear found an incense holder she and her girls bought on a meaningful trip she took when she was going through cancer treatment.
Additionally, hours before going to sift, Baer wrote a journal entry about items she was having a hard time missing. In that entry, she wrote down her childhood Mickey Mouse fork. She ended up finding the very fork in her final sift.
While clearing her home closes the opportunity to sift again, Baer hopes there’s emotional value in this next big step towards moving forward.
“I’m hoping for a shift in the energy, to let it go and focus on the next step,” she said.
It took four months to get to this stage of debris cleanup, officials told FOX31 the hope is to finish clearing lots in August, another four more months from now. We’re told it will likely take four days to clear each lot.