SOLANO COUNTY (CBS13) — For the LNU Lightning Complex fires burning across five counties, containment is now up to 27 percent. Late Monday afternoon, PG&E restored all power in areas affected in Yolo County.
The fire has burned thru 353,000 acres — that’s bigger than the city of Los Angeles. Nearly 1,000 structures have been destroyed, including one farm outside Vacaville that belongs to a firefighter.
Along a quiet Vacaville country road sits a farm with a story from Mike Shuken, a Berkeley firefighter whose dedication is undeniable.
“I felt the same drive and the same passion to save that property as I did my own,” Shuken said.
His own family farm was found burning in the LNU Lightning Complex Fires.
Shuken got an alert from his son, who had to evacuate their home just a few miles down the road.
“The entire hillside was covered in flames,” he said.
He tried turning on a hose but there was no water.
“At that point, the heat and the smoke basically drove me off the property,” Shuken described.
So without hesitation, he began helping protect other properties nearby, even saving an animal farm.
“I was able to hop on with our crew and get to work; help with the effort in that and actually help save that farm so that was very satisfying,” he said.
Even more comforting, he says while looking back at the devastation, is knowing the barn his family spent over two years building is still standing. It’s an unexpected treasure in the ashes that Shuken, a firefighter for 14 years, can’t even explain.
“My happiness with what survived here is tempered by the fact that I know my neighbors lost so much,” he said.
Shuken’s home not far from his farm wasn’t damaged in the fires.