VACAVILLE (CBS13) — The LNU Lightning Complex Fire that burned across parts of Fairfield and Vacaville is one of the worst wildfires in California history. Only 25% contained, some evacuation orders are still in effect, but some people are slowly being allowed back home.
“There’s that thing called survivors guilt, right? And I always heard about it and now my wife and I are living it,” Mark Vanpelt said.
His Solano County home survived the flames, but his neighbors were not as lucky.
“We have several neighbors that lost everything. We feel horrible. Our property is in great shape, it’s unburnt but everything around it is destroyed,” Vanpelt said.
Vanpelt said he spent the last year preparing for what he hoped would never happen.
“We spent a lot of time and effort on fire prevention and it worked, it’s saved our property,” he said.
He’s built dirt fire breaks that include an irrigation system and trimmed trees, making it more difficult for fire to burn.
Battalion Chief Mike Duggan with the Vacaville Fire Protection District says you can never be too prepared when it comes to wildfires.
“Well, it definitely worked in [Vanpelt’s] case for sure,” Duggan said. “It’s really I think the biggest thing is defensible space.”
The fire has burned 315,817 acres across several counties and destroyed more than 900 structures.