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Kyburz Fire Resurrects Memories Of Deadly 1992 Cleveland Fire

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Anjali Hemphill Anjali Hemphill
Anjali Hemphill joined CBS 13 in June 2012 and she's happy to make the...
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EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — The Kyburz Fire, which has burned about 615 acres so far, is a reminder of a deadly blaze that burned in the same area more than 20 years ago.

The Cleveland Fire in October 1992 killed two firefighters and burned dozens of buildings.

So far, the Kyburz Fire has only damaged two outbuildings and Cal Fire says no homes are threatened at this time. The California Highway Patrol says the it was started by a wheel from a truck being towed. The truck has been found, but not the vehicle towing it.

The fire is only 40 percent contained. People who live in the area are all too familiar with what happens when a fire gets out of control.

“It’s kind of scary wondering if the wind will change and if it’s going to come this way or not.”

People who live in homes nearby are bracing for the worst.

“We’ve evacuated our house before for forest fires, so it’s scary. It’s a scary situation.”

Scary, because more than 20 years ago, the Cleveland Fire burned for nearly two weeks in the same area.

“It was devastating, burned trees, houses burned up. The last one got out of control and it jumped the freeway.”

The Cleveland Fire charred more than 22,000 acres of beautiful forest land. It shut down main roadways and cost millions in resources.

“They were packing their stuff up and trying to get ready to get out. Power was out—that cut off the water supply.”

Jamie Douglas, who still remembers the devastation two decades later, says there are still signs of it today.

“Before, you could drive to the top of Icehouse Road and you could see down to the highway. And now you can’t, because the trees are getting big again, and who’s to say it won’t happen one more time.”

A feeling all too familiar, keeping residents on their toes, while holding their hopes to the wind.

“As long as the wind stays down when it’s hot like this, then we are fine.”

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