If you had to rebuild your town, where would you begin?
It's a question that residents of Malden, Wash. have asked for months. One year later, this town's struggle to rise from wildfire ashes continues.
The towns of Malden and Pine City burned to the ground on Labor Day 2020 — 85% of buildings were gone. Residents were displaced. And federal relief was delayed for months.
About 400 residents lived in the two small, adjoined towns tucked in the hills of the Palouse of eastern Washington.. Malden is the town proper in this area, and it saw near total destruction from this fire.
Hardly any firefighters were in the area on Labor Day.
“There were no trucks, no other response, because they were all fighting fires in other areas. It was that bad that day,” Malden Councilmember Scott Hokonson said.