“The Sky Was on Fire”: San Diegans Remember May Firestorm

Uncontrollable. Scary. Crazy. Devastating.

Those were the words used by locals to describe last May’s unusual firestorm that swept across North County, destroying dozens of homes.

Many San Diegans chimed in on NBC 7’s Facebook page, sharing what they remember most about that week one year ago – and what they hope to forget.

“Even in the 2003 fires when we got evacuated, I was never as scared as I was last year,” wrote Kristina Snow. “The sky was on fire. It was so crazy.”

Many described the panic of being evacuated and not knowing when they would return home.

“I was by myself at home pregnant with our first baby while my husband was working,” Amanda Michelle Pollard wrote on NBC 7’s Facebook page. “We put all our irreplaceable belongings in our cars and were ready to evacuate.”

D.J. Summitt wrote that he remembers not knowing where his family would stay that night they were evacuated.

“We packed up our dogs, keepsakes, etc., and went to the evacuation center at the high school,” Summitt wrote. “From there, we used Facebook to find a place to stay. We spent the next day sitting near Lake San Marcos watching the helicopters get fire.”

The fires put things in perspective, Loretta Martin said.

“It makes me cry to look at my photos of the fires,” Martin wrote. “I learned what ‘home’ really means that week.”

Kelly McFarland Trent was neighbors with Greg Saska, whose home in Carlsbad was the first to burn in the Poinsettia Fire. A year later, he’s still staying at a Motel 6.

“I live on Skimmer Court, a few houses down from Greg Saska,” Trent wrote in a Facebook message. “We count ourselves lucky that we just lost a bit of fence. But for the grace of God.”

How do you remember the week of the May fires? Tell us in the comments section below.

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