Residents in Rancho Bernardo are marking the 10th anniversary of the Witch Creek Fire with a special community and fundraising event at Webb Park on Sunday, Oct. 22.
The all-day event includes a safety fair and benefit concert with proceeds going to help recent hurricane victims in other parts of the country. There will also be a private, invitation-only reunion dinner for residents who lost their homes.
The San Diego County wildfires of 2007 started on Oct. 21 in Witch Creek Canyon near Santa Ysabel. In the days that followed, several other fires would ignite including the Harris and Guejito Fires. The Witch Creek, Harris and Guejito Fires would burn about 288,000 acres. Thousands of people were evacuated. More than 2,000 structures were burned or destroyed. 10-people were killed.
One of the hardest hit communities was Rancho Bernardo, where 365 homes were destroyed.
Ten years later, several homeowners shared their thoughts with NBC 7.
“I think the 10-year marker, you’re kind of looking for closure. You’re wondering have we moved past this. Is it truly behind us,” said Karen Heumann.
Huemann says she and her family are still recovering emotionally, and deal with anxiety and panic issues when talking about fires.
Robin Kaufman, who worked hard to notify friends and family to evacuate during the fires said her goal was to make sure neighbors were being taken care of, during and after the fires.
“I wasn’t as emotional as a lot of people when they saw that their homes were destroyed. Because everything can be replaced except life,” said Kaufman.
Bobbie Davis’ home was one of the dozens that burned on Aguamiel Road.
“Normally, I don’t worry about things, but seeing the fires in California, I start to worry again, and with the weather report this weekend, it sounds like it’s going to be really hot, so I start to get nervous about that,” said Davis.