Homeowners south of Graham were allowed back into the devastated area today. Road blocks were lifted, and people got a chance to see what was left.
Despite the countless losses, a sense of community has kept spirits high. Many of Keven Poole's extended family live in the same valley near Possum Kingdom Lake. His home, along with his mother in-law's were lost to the flames.
He returned to assess the damage today. Waiting for him were 2 of his family's dogs, still keeping guard over the charred remains. Waiting at the foot of the driveway was food and water for them, left by a stranger.
It is that kind of togetherness that has kept him strong. "I'd like to know who's done it, I'd like to thank them for leaving the food out for the dogs, but its typical of the people around here," said Poole.
This is not the first time fire has affected his family. Several years ago, his mother in-law's home burned after an electrical fire. They rebuilt on the same lot, as they plan to do again. "We like being out here, let our dogs run and roam," he said.
Despite the fire threats, he says the country is the only home he knows. "You can't live in fear, you have to live your life … I love being out here," he said.
Aside from the usually-beautiful landscape, Poole says the people of the area make it a special place to call home. "Awe man! I love this community. I don't want to live in town, but I love the people that are there," said Poole.
His family's homes are insured and he has been in touch with insurance officials. He expects to start the process of rebuilding soon. For now he says he's staying strong for his family. "I don't have time to grieve at the moment; there's too much work to do," he said.
When that time comes, he knows he can fall-back on his neighbors, friends and the people in Graham. "Graham has been so wonderful in meeting the things that we need," said Poole.