VACAVILLE (CBS13) — Thousands of Solano County residents were forced to leave with only the bare necessities as the LNU Lightning Complex Fires grew out of control. Many people are still waiting to find out if they’ll have a home to come back to.
Bright flames and smoke brought an early morning wake-up call for John Moya who said he only had minutes to escape.
“We are alive, we are alive, everyone is okay,” he said. “You could feel the heat and the wind blowing from the fire and the ash, it was too hot, I said, ‘We don’t have time, let’s just get out of here.'”
Moya’s home is one of the few still standing in his neighborhood on English Hills Road.
“Seeing videos of the houses next to us burning down, I knew ours was going to be gone,” Moya said. “What are they going to do? That’s a terrible feeling. I’m very thankful.”
Just 10 miles away, Karen Stickler wasn’t as lucky.
“I thought, no we are going to be right back; I don’t think we are going to be evacuated for long. Well guess what, this is the one that got us,” Stickler said.
Her neighbor, a first responder, went back to the area and the home she’s lived in for 30 years is gone.
“One of the other gentlemen who is also a law enforcement officer said, I was up there, there is nothing left of our homes, nothing,” she said.
Shawnee Whaley had to grab her mother and leave without their six cats.
“It’s sad, you want to take them but you’re not prepared. Where is the carrier, where is the food? No! Where is your mother, get your mother and let’s go and so that is what I was concerned with,” Whaley said.
Whaley is one of the thousands of people still waiting to see if they still have a home.
“It’s sad; we were really worried earlier, really worried,” she said.
There are currently more than 200 people in eight evacuation sites in Solano County. Those numbers do not include the parking lot at those locations which are also full of cars. A timeline has not been announced on when people will be let back into the area.