At Least Two People Are Dead And Thousands Have Fled Their Homes In The Southern California Wildfires – BuzzFeed News

Fleeing these fires has become a ritual for Californians, especially as the seasons shift and the dry summer leaves parched, dusty hills and valleys filled with brush, perfect fuel for a wildfire that can race through communities thanks to low humidity and high winds.

Like many California communities, Porter Ranch is tucked against a barren canyon, which makes homes extremely vulnerable to blazes like the Saddleridge Fire.

“If you’re in the valley, it’s just one of the risks you have to take,” said Emilio Lazaro, standing in his parents’ driveway as firefighters doused flames that had kicked up in his now-destroyed bedroom.

The 21-year-old, still in his pajamas, evacuated his home late Thursday with his parents. Neighbors around him were scurrying to warn and wake one another — one elderly man who lives alone needed help with his dog, another woman and her kids ran next door to check on another family.

Lazaro grabbed his computer, phone, video game consoles, and some clothes.

While his house structurally, survived, the damage is significant. His dining room table stands in a sea of debris. The roof is gaping, his father’s study almost unrecognizable. Everything in his room, where he’s slept since he was 10, is gone.

A firefighter walked up and handed the college student a framed photo of him and his girlfriend in the Snapchat dog filter.


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