Not in your wildest dreams would you ever imagine losing everything.  If that happened, how would you react?  What would you do?  This blog post is intended to raise money for these wonderful people, and to help those who are going through a similar hardship find hope that it will indeed get better.  

Alice and Alan planned to retire into the mountains near their long-time residence.  After selling their house in town, they began construction on their dream house on the piece of property they purchased.  A handy man by his own right, Alan did a lot of the work himself.  Understanding the dangers of living in the forest during times of extreme drought, they searched for a company willing to insure them on four separate occasions, but came up short.  They could not find insurance on their property because it was not a finished house.  One day, the unthinkable happened!  A fast-moving, crowning forest fire crested the ridge of the mountains by their home, and they had no time to gather many of their belongings on the property.  Alan locked most of them in a metal shed he had outside, hoping that even if the house burned, the metal structure would be safe.  They fled the property, watching whole trees burn behind them.
Charred pine trees as far as the eye can see around Alan’s property.
Upon returning to their property, it was worse than they imagined. Their entire piece of land was black, to include both the pine trees and the aspen trees. Their dome house was also black, and the shed was destroyed. Alice said that had they put on the final coat of concrete and installed the windows, their house may have survived the fire. 
The rain has since washed the soot of the outside of their house exposing the charred polyurethane foam.
Alan estimates the total value of their destruction to be about $600,000.  Among their losses were building supplies: sixteen solar panels ($500 each), three inverters ($3,500 each), 36 batteries for various generators and devices, multiple battery chargers, 24 tires for varies pieces of equipment (including snow tires with aluminum rims), 2 whole palates of Portland cement (70 bags total).  It also included $200,000 worth of tools: industrial shelving units (warped), a table saw, a radial arm saw.  They lost 90% of their household furniture, a camping trailer on the property, a truck, and family heirlooms to include a musket from the Civil War along with a loader and leather possibles bag.
Aluminum melts at 1220.58°F (660.32°C). Alan said that in some places, there was melted bronze. (Bronze melts at 1900-1950°F or 1038-1066°C.)
This is what remains of Alan’s shed where all of his belongs were.
Alan is a gifted photographer, and unfortunately suffered great loss in that department as well. He lost 250,000 slides, three Kodak slide projectors, dissolve units, and all his small photo accessories (filters, lens caps, bags, etc.) Luckily he took his cameras and lenses with him into the car when they left. The photos he has left are ones he has given away or sold, and a few that he had in their rental property in town. He mostly shoots nature and wildlife.

Surprisingly, a tractor, a welder, three shovels, some rakes, a sledgehammer, a sawzall, and a metal swing survived. Even more randomly were the two plastic chairs and a straw hat remaining after the blaze was out.

Despite losing their life savings and a lifetime of dreams and hard work, Alan wants to rebuild. He has not abandoned his dream to retire on that property. The couple has joined a law suit that does not seem to be making headway. They are exploring the possibility of suing the utility company because the fire was started by a tree falling on a power line. It was the responsibility of the utility company to ensure a proper easement clear of trees from power lines.

Alan is now looking for work once again, after retiring. They have purchased a new solar-electronics package. With the help of myself and other friends, Alan has constructed a shed on the property where he can store building supplies and belongings so they don’t get wet.
Alan’s friend is cutting the support beams and studs for the walls of the shed.
Aspen trees are starting to come back into the area, and they are now encountering the problem of having to cut some of them back to keep the forest healthy and not too thick. Elk and deer have returned to the property a few nights in a row to bed down for the night.

There is a lot left to Alan’s to-do list with this property. There is a giant mound of concrete left behind (the fire burned the bags of the cement, and then it rained, and it dried, and now the 2 palates of cement have hardened there). They need to put up new insulation and skin on their home, as well as metal shingles. They lost their windows and doors in the shed, so now they need to purchase new ones.

If you would like to donate to help Alice and Alan rebuild, you have several options:

1) Send donations to our PAYPAL (jessicaraephotos *AT* hot mail *dot* com) and note that it is going toward Alice and Alan. 100% of all donated moneys goes directly to Alice and Alan. 

Everyone who donates will be automatically entered to win one of several non-serialized / autographed prints by Jessica Rae Photography as offered in this album.

2) Purchase a print from our store, and 20% to 30% of the money will go to benefit Alice and Alan, depending on the piece. (You will notice I just raised the prices in my store slightly in order to get them more money.)

Why only 20%-30%? Jessica Rae Photography is not a non profit organization, and therefore has a limit to how much it can help others. This is an option for those who want to be guaranteed a print as something to show for their donation. Feel free to make a donation if you would rather do it that way. Feel free to explore both options if you want.