On December 7, 2017 a wildfire broke out on an unpaved road in Murrieta, California. 300 acres of unincorporated land was burned, one structure and six outbuildings were lost. Though it was one of the smaller in last year’s long list of wildfires, it was one that hit close to home. While I was gearing up for finals week, my sister called to ask if there was anything important I needed out of the house. My mother said she could see the wall of flames across the street while standing in our driveway and was preparing for the worst. Aircraft flew low overhead to deliver bright red fire retardant to contain the blaze, which still stains the landscape. A friend of mine who lived at the base of a hill which the fire was eventually contained on was given an evacuation notice. Property owned by my family was charred in the process, but fortunately my mother’s home was unscathed. Thankfully, no one was physically harmed. Over the winter holiday, I went with a friend to inspect the damage left by the fire. These are some of the sights we found.
photos contributed by Redlands Bulldog photographer Jonathan Ruhlman.