Ponderosa Lodge serving meals to firefighters after crews save the community from flames

Wildfires

PONDEROSA, California (KSEE)- Mountain communities continue to hold their breath as the SQF Complex Fire continues to rage in the Sequoia National Forest.

As of Wednesday evening, the fire has burned nearly 145,000 acres and is 35% contained. 

“The experience was something you would see out of a movie,” said David Sharp as he documented his last moments in Poderosa before evacuating. 

The fire crept dangerously close to the community of Ponderosa last week, but crews have managed to protect the area and build containment lines they hope to keep up. 

“It was a very traumatic experience not knowing if we were going to lose everything we put into the place and our whole life is in here,” said Sharp.

David and Jennifer own the historic Ponderosa lodge. It’s been around since the 1960s and has offered hikers, bikers, and anyone else a mountain getaway.

“We took it on a few years ago, saw an opportunity here, and wanted to shift gears and lifestyle a little bit, so we have put our heart and soul into this place to make it is what it is now,” said Jennifer Sharp.

They evacuated, but have since returned to find the lodge painted hot pink with fire retardant. The lodge doesn’t have power but the team, including the lodge’s chef, is making sure firefighters at the nearby camp are well fed. They cook them breakfast and lunch. So far they estimate they’ve served up to 30,000 meals.

“We have the greatest community you could ever possibly imagine. I never understood what that word meant until coming up here and seeing how much support we have for each other and constantly helping each other out and helping each other,” said David.

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