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Gator Pass
The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Tubbs Fire leaves hundreds without homes

A firefighter is lifted on a ladder to extinguish a wildfire in Santa Rosa, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (Oscar Rendon/Golden Gate Xpress)

The Tubbs Fire consumed 25,000 to 30,000 acres of Santa Rosa land, forcing many people to evacuate their residences, according to a tweet from the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

The Tubbs Fire–– named after Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, California, where the first signs of the growing fire were–– burned all through last night and is still at a zero percent containment rate.

The fire took out the precious belongings and households of Santa Rosa individuals and had them scared for their lives.

“They started banging on the doors at 3 o’clock in the morning. They were screaming, ‘You’ve got to get out now!’,” Shirlene “Red” Gilman said with tears in her eyes. “It was scary—It was really scary.”

Gilman, a 69-year-old retiree living in the Journey’s End Mobile Home Park, was stunned by what was going on in her surrounding community. She ended up losing everything she owned, except for some clothes, to the Tubbs Fire.

Closing in on 200 Bicentennial Way, just up the hill from Journey’s End, some of the Overlook apartments at Fountaingrove were being drenched with water drawn by the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

Battalion Chief Mark Basque supervised his crew as they hosed down the roof of one of the apartments. He said it took a couple of hours to hold down just one building.

Because of the fire’s size and proximity to residential communities, fire departments and police departments from all over the Bay Area came together to help a community in need.

Officer Mulliken of the San Francisco Police Department poured buckets of water on a forested hillside where smoky ash was still ablaze.

When asked how many departments came to help he said, “I don’t know. There’s been a lateral proportion all over the place.”

The responsiveness of city officials has proved to be helpful when putting out fires in more dangerous areas like Schmidt Firearms, Inc., where the bullets and propane tanks exploded like water balloons.

The community wants to help out as much as they can, as seen from the number of resources around the neighboring areas sheltering evacuees.

The CEO of the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Rebecca Bartling, has opened the doors of the fairgrounds to those who evacuated their homes.

“People are being very congenial here and in a situation like this neighbors will help each other in transporting their large animals,” she said. “We probably have about 600 people and around 600 horses.”

She explained that her company is prepared to shelter more people and animals in the weeks to come.

The City of Santa Rosa tweeted today at 8 p.m. that “evacuated residents should NOT attempt to return home until notified by City Officials.”

At this point, the people of Santa Rosa, and bordering cities, are adhering to the officials and helping one another out of hazardous areas to a safer environment.

Priest Morgan, a 62-year-old retired Diamond Springs firefighter, came back to the burning Journey’s End to help his fellow residents; such as Gilman, who hugged Morgan to thank him for saving their lives.

Morgan recalled his actions: he grabbed a fire hose and stopped the fire department, who were driving away from Journey’s End, and told them that there were still people inside their trailer homes about to be burned alive.

“I have the skills so why go away if I could maybe come back and do something,” Morgan said. “Had it took off, the ones that we saved might’ve burned. So I went and did what I had to do and stepped in front of the fire trucks.”

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Tubbs Fire leaves hundreds without homes