Burning Reminder As Fire Edges Towards Homes

The fire forced evacuations near Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley

By Michelle Wayland
|  Saturday, Sep 19, 2009  |  Updated 2:42 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Images: Spring Valley Brush Fire

Tony Shin

Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

A brush fire that erupted in Spring Valley on Saturday had already nervous residents scrambling as memories of the 2007 firestorm came flooding back.

The fire burned about 14 acres near Steele Canyon High School and forced evacuations as it headed towards homes.

“I saw it grow bigger and bigger as the minutes passed so I knew this could get out of control quickly,” Tony said, who was standing at Cottonwood Golf Course when the fire broke out.

Stasha Ybarra got the call this morning and immediately her heart was in her throat.

“My Mom called me and said 'there's a fire,' it was on the other side of her neighbor's house. So I said, 'get out of there! You need to get out of there!' Because in 2007 she wouldn't leave when they evacuated her,” she said.

Ybarra was on her honeymoon in Hawaii in 2007 when the fires broke out and heard that flames were ravaging the region. She turned on the news and there was her Mom, on the TV, refusing to leave her home.

“They were telling her to get out. I'm helpless, I can't do anything because I'm so far away and I'm going 'Mom, get out of there,' and she has this plan of how she's going to stay,” Ybarra said.

Her Mom has pigs and chickens and Ybarra said she doesn't want her animals to burn.

Ybarra said luckily the firefighters pounced on Saturday’s fire and snubbed it out quickly. She wasn’t the only one hailing the firefighter’s efforts.

“I was driving up the road and saw flames shoot up and I know my aunt lives right down there and so I pulled my car over to the side of the road and just started running up to her house because I wanted to make sure she was okay,” Allison Glover said.

By the time she got there, the fire was almost out.

“They had white smoke smoldering, so I cannot commend them enough for how well they did,” Glover said. “I live up in Jamul and the fire came really close to my parents house in 2007 and I'm just amazed at how well they completely well they put it out.”

Two firefighters suffered heat related injuries; one was transported to a local hospital, according to Cal Fire spokesperson Roxanne Provaznik.

“The cause of the Millar Fire was un-permitted debris burning,” she said.

The fire comes just as the mercury rises and the potential for wildfires increases.

“We'll see record or near record temperatures Tuesday - Thursday before dropping back off a bit for the weekend,” forecaster Whitney Southwick said. “While this isn't expected to be a true Santa Ana event, we will have at least weak off-shore winds, very low humidity levels and extremely high temperatures.”

That combined with thousands of acres of tinder dry brush has firefighters and residents on high alert.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out