AUBURN (CBS13) – Massive firestorms swallowing up forestland and homes by the hundreds are sometimes called super fires, and Northern California could be seeing them in the near future.
Residents in the Auburn neighborhood of the 49 Fire in 2009 know what it means to go through a super fire. Scott Hardman and his wife Amanda remember the 49 Fire like it was yesterday.
“Disbelief at first,” Scott said Tuesday.
Now three years later, their home is rebuilt but parts of their neighborhood are still rebuilding. They lived through what many experts call a super fire, something Colorado has battled this past week.
“In Colorado the conditions are just right,” Cal Fire’s Daniel Berlant said. “The temperatures are high, the humidity is low and they didn’t see a lot of rain this year.”
And add in some strong winds, you have a massive wildfire – just like the 49 Fire and the Angora Fire in 2007 that destroyed nearly 250 homes.
“It’s really emotional because you never think it is going to happen to you,” Amanda Hardman said.
It’s been several years since Northern California has battled a super fire, but Cal Fire says what we see in Colorado could happen again here – and soon.
“Because we didn’t get a lot of rainfall this year, there’s a lot of potential this year even across California, even Northern California, to see above-average activity of wildfires in California,” Berlant said.
Scott and Amanda know the odds of being burned out twice is slim, but it’s a fear they live with every time they see something like what’s happened in Colorado.
“I tell myself it could never happen again, just to feel safe and get my way through it, but the thought has come through my mind,” Amanda said.
And so as people in the Auburn neighborhood continue to rebuild, Cal Fire reminds everyone that it is important for people, especially in rural areas, to cut back their brush and listen to warnings if you do have to evacuate.