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Long-term support needed for those rebuilding after wildfires destroy homes

JD Krones lost his home in the East Troublesome Fire and plans to rebuild after the winter.

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. — While the wildfires in Colorado are still burning, the state's late October snowstorm has stopped most of their growth – and without the immediate threat of flames burning down homes, people who lost everything can begin to think about what’s next. 

In the moments before life changed for JD Krones, he only had time to think about saving his pets and grabbing a few bags of belongings. 

"I loaded what I could," said Krones, whose home was in the path of the East Troublesome Fire in Grand County 

He said bought the home on Valentine's Day, and the home he fell in love with burned down in the fire. 

"My flute and my banjo, I found parts that fit both of them, so that was hard," Krones said when he went back to look at what was left on his property. 

RELATED: 'It’s horrible': The path to rebuilding begins in Grand County

RELATED: 'We’re a family up here': Grand Lake businesses working together to reopen after being evacuated

After his home burned, Krones' friends offered him a place to stay and people donated things he never had time to grab. Those donations are needed, but JD has seen how tragedies play out. 

RELATED: Colorado wildfires: How you can help those impacted

“There’s a flood of money and donations and toiletries and then it stops and the community is left stranded," he said. 

When the winter ends, hundreds of people will need to rebuild. 

"And so in eight months if you are a builder or a construction worker or a designer, be there for us" said Krones.

Krones wrote an essay about his thoughts that was published by the Colorado Sun. 

RELATED: 'I kicked into auto-mode of firefighter, not homeowner:' Grand County firefighters lose homes in East Troublesome Fire

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