SOLANO COUNTY (CBS13) — When the LNU Lightning Complex Fires tore through the Solano County, people tried to put out hotspots on their own to protect their homes. With firefighting resources stretched thin, some considered it necessary.
A sense of security for many in the Vacaville area was shattered. The fires spread fast, even jumping over Interstate 80 at one point. Some homeowners were worried about the lack of air support and tried to create a fire line of their own.
“Some people go on the rooftop with their garden hose and try to spray down their roof and protect it,” said Cal Fire Spokesperson Daniel Berlant.
People are using the Bay Area Craigslist to sell firetrucks, with prices ranging from $7,000 to $45,000. According to an NPR report, some of these listings say things like “Save yourself from disaster.”
“It can be so dangerous when people who are not trained, do not have the right equipment and don’t have communication with us try to stay behind and protect their own homes,” Berlant said.
Berlant said it’s not worth the risk. People putting themselves on the front lines sometimes leads to injury or death, taking first responders away from the actual firefighting.
Frank Hanratti lost his home of 33 years to the lightning complex fires.
“It was hot embers and wind and ash, we went through that,” Hanratti said.
He understands the fear of losing everything but said he would never try and fight flames on his own. Instead, he spent months creating defensible space.
“I put everything in a burn pile, all the tree trims and everything so nothing was around the house. I had sprinkler systems and everything,” Hanratti said.
But it wasn’t enough to stop this fire. For Frank, it’s now about accepting what he had no power to change.
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