Complex Fire Conclusion – For Us, Anyway

by Kristi on November 17, 2008 · 10 comments

We are BACK in our house! I kept calling the Fire Authority to find out if we had the all clear and at 350pm, my Mom texted me that her friend who lives in Hidden Valley (above us) was able to get in. I called them and they confirmed we could go back to our house.

Justin and I left G with Sharon (Sammie was still taking a nap) and went to the house ourselves. We were not sure what we would find so we wanted to go without the kids. Plus, Sharon was already cooking dinner for us so we had to go back, yum yum!

So we are driving down the street just basically in awe of all the charred ground by New River and Esperanza (by the train tracks). We turn up New River and before turning up Adobe we see some fire trucks and cars on the street ahead.

I get out my camera to snap a picture and we go up the street. It all looks normal but seeing the amount of people walking around and more cars going up our street is definitely a little weird.

We drive up the street and slow down to glance at the playground. The back of the park is charred, where all the brush was. See the brown hills in the background?

Plus, the side of the park where the RV and Boat parking (for private owners – just a private lot) was charred too. We pull up a few feet and see… the ENTIRE lot where RVs and Boats just gone. People were going in and taking souvenirs out, it looked like!!

This is two streets down from us!!

As we drove up, I tried to look down Feather but didn’t see anything. We had heard that a home burned down on the street. We pulled up to our house and OMG it was just fine. There was tons of ash on the ground, in the garage, etc.

This picture below is me looking across the street. This is what we saw when we left the house (in a panic). The hill was on fire, and then minutes later I could see it (what looked like to me) in the backyard of this house.

Without the zoom. It looked so close when it was actually ON fire, the wind was blowing 30-50 miles and hour, and smoke so thick, you couldn’t see much.

This is still in our driveway but looking the other way. You can see the whole hill was burned and it went right up to the homes on the ridge.

We spent some time chatting with our neighbor – who happened to be the wife of a firefighter! And he had come home later to help but told HER to stay home when the hills were burning!!! I thought they were CRAZY but very brave. Apparently though, there is a fire line behind the houses and the fire was burning downhill so it wasn’t ‘as’ dangerous.

Oh, and NO firefighters came to this area (besides the burned down house, I think) is what the dude and his wife said. They stayed and two houses up from them stayed, and the older son of another family stayed. They were running around putting out palm trees, a wooden fence that burned by the RV park, and embers out around the neighborhood.

THANK GOD for them, maybe our house wouldn’t have been here. But super scary. We are glad we left. I would not have let Justin stay, I was SO freaked out, it felt like WorldWar3. J is now making fun of how I completely FREAKED out but when I had the dogs, one cat, and the baby in the car – I backed the car out and got out… wind was BLOWING so hard, the smoke was heavy, and I look over (see two pictures up) to see FLAMES all over that hill… OMG. I wanted OUT OF THERE. Which was when I ran back in the house screaming for him to GET OUT. Callie was still hiding but it could have taken us forever to find her, I just wanted to be gone.

Driving out of our neighborhood and seeing smoke on the hills, smoke in Savi Ranch, smoke over by the Festival and just CARS and heavy SMOKE everywhere… It was so scary. Scariest thing I have ever been in, I think. That counts the time I was held up at gun point, too!

Here is an interesting comment from the OC Register, scroll down to read the 2nd comment. He is describing the house two doors up from the firefighter and next to the burning hill. The house that burned was two streets down, and three houses in. Weird that it was three houses in but those embers must have started something. The house is completely burned with both cars burned out in the driveway 🙁 So sad.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jon November 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm

I’m glad you guys made it out safe and with no damage. Scary stuff!

2 Angie Weeks November 17, 2008 at 6:27 pm

ei yi yi I am so thankful for your brave neighbors – that was waaaay too close for comfort! time to check up on that fire insurance policy, lol 🙂

3 Angela November 17, 2008 at 9:29 pm

i am so happy that you guys are safe and that your home is still intact!

4 Bill and Debbie November 17, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Kristi: I think that you and Justin just lead a charmed life and that most things will continue to go YOUR way forever. One good thing…now that the hills near you are all burned, you don’t have to worry about fires again for 4-5 years, I suppose. Love and Hugs,
Bill Koelzer and Debbie Ferrari.

5 Mel Aclaro November 17, 2008 at 9:49 pm


I’m so glad you had a happy conclusion to the fire. Good update. Thanks!


6 cbooser November 18, 2008 at 2:41 am

We’re so glad you guys are home safe!!! Must have been terrifying!xoxox Carolyn

7 Anonymous November 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Great photos. So happy your house is fine — and all of you.

8 kristina November 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Sorry … that anonymous is me. I was holding Ryan while I was typing and hit send by mistake.

I was going to say that I would have been freaking out too.

9 Donna M. November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm

It’s good to see that you are all safe and your home is still standing. My family also lives in Yorba Linda (By Black Gold) and also had to evacuate. It was so scary for my younger siblings 🙁 All is well now, thank goodness!

10 Anna November 24, 2008 at 4:55 pm

I am very glad everything is ok. J showed me a pic on his phone of the house on your street that burned. I am glad we all got out ok. I didn’t realize you also had to run from fire. That must have been very scary with the baby!

Nick almost didn’t make it out of the riverbed in time. I had to call 911 and tell them where he was most likely at so they could get him out.

We still have firetrucks all over our area and it smells like an ashtray, but we’re all safe, thank goodness. Thank GOD for all the brave firefighters and neighbors.

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