Special Report: Evacuees Survey Wildfire Damage In The Santa Cruz Mountains

By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM
Thousands of people are still out of their homes after the CZU Lightning Fire marched into the Santa Cruz Mountains. This week, KCBS Radio is looking at how the fire touched the mountain town of Ben Lomond. In part one, reporter Matt Bigler speaks with an evacuee convinced her home is gone.

Fire evacuees in the Santa Cruz Mountains are slowly starting to return home, and some of them are finding that they have lost almost everything in the CZU Lightning Complex fire.

CAL FIRE says the fire has burned over 900 homes, at least two dozen of which are in the small mountain town of Ben Lomond where

"I know it’s burned," said Blue Sky (not her real name) of her home, which she evacuation two weeks ago in the middle of the night. "The sky was red and I didn’t know where exactly it was. And so I just got out of there."

She just had time to grab a change of clothes and one of her cats, but the other two ran away when she tried to put them in the pet carrier.

"We’re doing okay, it’s just, it’s just waiting and not knowing exactly what you have to do."

Like many mountain residents, she is no stranger to wildfire. An earlier fire stopped just 100 feet from her home.

"This is my third fire, and I’m gonna rebuild," she vowed.

In part two, the story of the volunteer fire department that helped to save much of the town.