He still calls the ridge home

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He still calls the ridge home

Rebuilding has been slow going, but Fred Finlay figures he’s in Tween Lakes for the long haul.

The Missionary Ridge Fire consumed his temporary quarters – a workshop/living area. But he got out safely with his sawmill equipment, tools, vehicles and a sailboat.

“They kept telling us not to worry,” Finlay said while in Durango recently. “But I knew it was time to go. I slept in my truck for a week in Bayfield.”

Upon returning after a week’s absence to his 3 acres on the ridge between the Florida and Pine river drainages, Finlay pitched a tent and started sawing lumber.

So far, he’s built a first floor with a plywood roof.

Finlay also created a garden, including fruit trees, and planted aspen, ponderosa pines and other conifers to replace trees that burned.

If he finds work as a carpenter, Finlay said, earnings go toward reconstruction at Tween Lakes.

“There’s always something to do because I’m working alone,” he said. “But I don’t have a mortgage, and I’m not married.”

Finlay said he’s in no hurry.

“I’ve lived there for 12 years,” he said. “I’m taking my time, so it’ll be a couple of years more the way things are going.”

daler@durangoherald.com

He still calls the ridge home

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Fred Finlay proudly looks over his home that he has been slowly building on his property in the Tween Lakes subdivision after the fire destroyed his home on the property 10 years ago.
Fred Finlay looks at what remains of his house in Tween Lakes just days after it was burned to the ground by the Missionary Ridge Fire.
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