Springville resident stays behind to care for evacuated neighbors’ animals

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SPRINGVILLE, California. (KSEE) -The SQF Complex Fire continues a destructive path in Tulare County. The fire, which includes the Castle and Shotgun Fire, has burned more than 107,000 acres and is 12% contained as of Tuesday night. 

The fire is now burning on state and federal land, so Cal Fire has joined in the fight, assisting the U.S. Forest Service and other allied agencies. The Tulare County Fire Department confirmed at least 104 structures have burned so far in the fire, although damage assessments are ongoing. 

Kelley Hansen is one of the few people left on her road near Springville. She is under a mandatory evacuation order but has not left. She says she is ready to go but is holding out a little longer.

“If the winds pick up we will leave. You will die if the winds pick up, there is no escape,” said Hansen. 

Her land has become a safe haven for her neighbors who have left vehicles and animals with her. Her and her husband are caring for about 10 animals including horses, goats and pigs. Her children have evacuated and are staying with relatives. She has put up signs for firefighters indicating where they can find water on her property in case they need it.

“If they haven’t evacuated and they are off that Balch Park Road, they need to think about that with all the extreme fire behavior we’ve been having, if they are in a warning please be ready to go,” said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Toni Davis.

Known destruction so far includes 35 homes in Sequoia Crest, 22 in Alpine Village and 42 in Cedar Slope. Davis has a family cabin there. 

“It definitely grounds you to your family and that history of everyone’s family up here. So in that, I appreciate everything the firefighters are doing and I know all the locals up there are hoping for the best right now,” said Davis.

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