‘Alaskan Bush People’ Star Bear Brown Opens Up About Rebuilding After Wild Fire

by Taylor Cunningham

On August 18th, 2020, a forest fire raged through Alaskan Bush People’s Washington ranch. And the Brown family is still working to rebuild over a year later.

Last summer, the Browns spent a month battling the Palmer Fire that spread to their land in Washington. And after they extinguished the flames, they realized that their $1.6 million North Star Ranch was destroyed.

Billy Brown and his family had spent decades building their secluded ranch. They hoped that it would serve as a place for future generations to live a completely autonomous lifestyle. So when the Browns lost everything they’d worked for, they were devastated. And that trauma was only intensified when Billy suddenly passed away six months later.

But according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, rebuilding has been a distraction for the Browns. Instead of “just sitting around and moping,” Billy’s wife and children have been working hard to restore Billy’s legacy.

“Da had been talking to everyone about the plan [to rebuild],” Billy’s son Bear told EW. “And then, Da’s passing just made us want to keep going with the dream, of course — trying to build up the ranch and get everything fixed. It gave us something to do instead of just sitting around and moping.”

Billy’s wife, Ami, has taken over her husband’s role in the process. She coordinates and plans the daily chores, which helps her get through her pain.

“We try and help [Mom]and stuff, but I’m not really much of a numbers, building guy. But it’s kind of nice having so much to do, to be honest, because it’s honoring Da as well. It was literally his last wish,” Bear continued. “His final dream, to continue building up the ranch and get it sustainable for generations of Browns to come — somewhere you can just live and not really depend on other people, except for your family.”

Bear Brown Explains Why ‘Alaskan Bush People’ Aired Billy Brown’s Death

Last season, Alaskan Bush People‘s patriarch Billy Brown suddenly died after suffering a stroke at his home in Loomis, Washington. And a few months later, footage of his death aired on the show. Many fans wondered why the series would showcase such a devastating event.

During an interview with HollywoodLife, Billy’s son Bear explained that it’s what his father would have wanted.

“Dad loved the show and he loved the people so much,” Bear shared. “We think that the fans and everyone that loves the show deserves to see everything and to see his funeral and all. We discussed whether or not to include it and we felt like we should include it for sure because we believe that is what Dad would want. I am doing alright. You think that you understand loss. I am just trying to keep one foot in front of the other.”