In Tunas, the fire destroyed nearly everything in its path including Tim Payne’s vehicles and boats. Each piece of property is covered in dark black soot. "It sucked the fire right into the house,” Payne said while pointing to his singed attic. “They tried to save my house which they did do. I’m proud."
Payne is waiting for adjusters to determine how much damage the brush fire caused. His pitch black attic shows the damage spread through his home. “Thank you,” Payne said to firefighters. “My house is still here. My other stuff is gone but I still got my home."
Payne says he's thankful no one was injured. "They used the bulldozers, they send people into the forest with rakes and blowers,” volunteer firefighter Jeanette Davis said. “Every firefighter puts their life on the line fighting one of these fires. Without all of the resources that came in there would have been no way to contain it.”
The blackened forest had several hot spots Wednesday. "Very worried about it," Davis said while strong winds blew debris. Crews monitored the area to make sure nothing flared back up. "It's devastating for home owners. When there are burn bans, don't burn. Things like this are senseless," Davis said.
Firefighters are still trying to determine the cause of the fire. They say it may have been caused by burning during a red flag warning. They and homeowners who lost property say all of this could have been prevented. "I worked all my life to get this stuff and it’s gone,” Payne said. “I’ll deal with it.” Firefighters say the strong winds, low humidity and low dew point caused the fire to spread quickly.