Malden Rises From The Ashes

A bird's eye view shows newly constructed houses upon a brown and muddy street.
Since the wildfire disaster, 24 homes have been rebuilt in Malden. The mayor says the goal is to have the new fire station built by August 2023. (Photo by Geoff Roth)


It’s been two years since the towns of Malden and Pine City were devastated by the 15-thousand acre Babb Road fire. Correspondent Lauren Paterson has more on the ongoing recovery.

(Runtime 1:00)


Malden resident Chantelle Frick will never forget Labor Day 2020.

“We could see the flames coming across the field that were five feet tall with the wind blowing. We pulled up to our house. The blocks in front of it were already completely burned, our house, our deck was on fire when we pulled up,” she said.

Frick and her husband were able to save their home with garden hoses, but most weren’t as  lucky. 121 homes and more than 100 buildings were destroyed.

Despite the tragedy, Frick said residents are seeing it as a chance for a new start. 

“Everybody here really envisions a brand new Malden. A nicer place to live, and raise your family. And we’re really trying to, it’s basically a brand new slate. We can make it what we want to make it, and so we’re trying to make it better than it was before.”

24 homes have been rebuilt and planning is underway for a new community building, Town Hall, and fire station to replace the temporary one. The new fire station should be completed by next August.  

A sign reading "thank you to all who donated to our community" sits beside the temporary town hall in Malden.

Although there are still a few families living in RVs, Frick says they’re working with organizations like Habitat for Humanity to help everyone get housing.
Donations for the Malden recovery can be made at the Pine Creek Community Restoration website.