Alpine

'Things Can be Replaced, but People Can't': One Week After Valley Fire

NBC Universal, Inc.

Its been a week since the Valley Fire sparked in rural eastern San Diego county. In that week it has burned 17,665 acres, destroyed 30 residences, and injured three firefighters.

Cal Fire says they continue to mop up hot spots as they've made progress containing the Valley Fire. But, it's difficult for some who've lost their homes, while others returned home after escaping the flames.

"When I first saw it come up the mountain it literally looked like fingers of fire were just coming up like a creature, pulling itself over the mountain and coming down," said Seth Madison who lives off Lawson Valley Road.

Madison said when he saw how close the fire was, he and his family evacuated.

"You could hear the fire at 2.6 miles away like a whoosh loud. And I was like, 'Yeah, time to pack it out," Madison said.

Nearly 700 firefighters helped CAL Fire battle the blaze that destroyed 30 homes.

Luckily Madison returned to his home still standing. Unfortunately, his neighbors down the hill from him lost their mobile homes and all their belongings.

The stretch of property on Prairie Drive in Jamul was torched.

Things can be replaced, but people can't,

Madison said.

The soon to be Navy veteran says he's relieved his home made it as just a day before the fire, he had sold his home of over eight years.

"I'm just relieved that this is still here and I know the people out here have really come together," Madison said.

Many neighbors and friends are collecting donations and funds for families who lost their homes and who are dealing with major damage.

Photos: Valley Fire Scorches 17,345 Acres Near Alpine

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