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Most people who lost a home in the Marshall Fire haven't requested permits to rebuild

Fewer than 200 permits have been issued or are still under review, out of 1,000 homes destroyed.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Most people who lost a home in the Marshall Fire have not submitted papers to rebuild. Out of 1,000 homes destroyed, fewer than 200 permits have been issued or are still under review.

Kelly Watt, her husband, and their 2-year-old son are among those who are still adjusting after losing everything. They're renting a house in Louisville until they can move back to their property in Original Town Superior. 

"It does feel strange, but also everything feels strange," Watt said. "Nothing feels right, right now."

Most lots in her neighborhood are empty. Very few in the town are under construction.

In Superior, debris has been removed from 381 properties, but the town has only issued 47 building permits as of Thursday. 

Louisville has issued 61 permits. The Marshall Fire destroyed 550 properties in that city. 

In unincorporated Boulder County, 16 permits have been issued and 15 are under review. In that area, 157 homes were destroyed.

"It is cool to see other people rebuilding. We are not close to that yet," Watt said. "We are not breaking ground, but it is nice to see other folks doing that."

The Watt family began working with an architect in April, but the family said they'll be lucky if they're in their new house by the end of 2023.

Her family chose to build a custom home, which is taking more time. They want to build a house they can grow old in. 

Watt said some neighbors who have broken ground went with a production builder, or they work in the construction industry. 

Other families have decided it's just too much. 

"There's a dozen lots in my neighborhood right now that are for sale," she said. 

Rebuilding looks different for each family. For Watt, moving back can't come soon enough. 

"It is totally surreal we are going to be in this house for two years easily," she said.

RELATED: Rebates encourage nearly half of those rebuilding after Marshall Fire to build more efficient homes

RELATED: Many people who lost homes in Marshall Fire selling land instead of rebuilding

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