NORTH FORK, Calif. (KSEE) – Fire crews are tirelessly trying to keep the Creek Fire from reaching homes in areas of North Fork, including Cascadel Woods and Cascadel Heights.
Kris Hamilton says she lost her home to the Mission Fire in 2017. She said she spent two years rebuilding, and exactly three years later, another fire threatens her home.
This time, she decided to stay in her house.
“We lost our house on Sept. 3 of ‘17 the Saturday of this exact weekend of this Creek Fire started to show its plume of smoke over us,” Hamilton said. “We have full house generator, we’ve got reserve of water and just too nerve racking, too concerning to leave, we lost pets, we lost everything last time.”
She’s been the eyes and ears for her neighbors who are wondering about the status of their homes while crews battle to keep the blaze from reaching them. She said firefighters have been sleeping on her outside deck.
“They’re our heroes,” Hamilton said. “We pulled our cushions for our deck furniture, one of our neighbors has cushions out as well, and they crashed and slept out here, and they rotated because they’re watching the backburn which is out on our ridge…We’ve opened the house for bathrooms so that’s been welcomed to just wash their face their hands, brush their teeth, they’re self sufficient but it’s tough.”
She said after she lost her home in 2017, she decided to rebuild because of the close-knit community of North Fork.
Mary Beth Harrison is an oil painter and also a resident from North Fork who evacuated this past weekend.
“I’ve lived in North Fork longer than I’ve lived any place else in my life now. Raised our kids there. Everybody knows each other there. We take care of each other there,” Harrison said. “We’re like a big family.”
Harrison’s painting of Yosemite’s El Capitan is in Hamilton’s home.
“We chose to rebuild because of that. Because all of our neighbors are outpouring,” Hamilton said.
Residents in North Fork continue to hope the Creek Fire doesn’t reach their homes, but for people who have already lost theirs, Hamilton knows the feeling all too well.
“It’s very, very tough, so the support now is great, but check in with them in a couple of months. And those that lost everything, they need things to work, they need clothes and boots and rakes and buckets and they’re going to be sifting through their ruins,” she said.
The Red Cross is assisting those impacted by the California Wildfires. You can help. Click this link to donate online: https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/ksee24-pub.html/