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Front Row Seat to Wildfire: Other voices

JAKE GROSSMILLER: “It was the weirdest feeling walking out of my home with two shopping bags filled with photo albums and pictures of my parents, and a strong box under my arm with my birth certificate in it.”

Twenty structure fire units defended the nine homes in Grossmiller’s Reservation Road neighborhood, where the fire burned within 200 feet.

LONNIE WRIGHT: “Some of our vineyards are right next to wildland. So yeah, it definitely had our attention for a week there.”

The 2002 Sheldon Ridge fire came much closer to Lonnie Wright’s Mill Creek vineyards than the Blackburn fire, but he’s still had winemakers calling him and asking if his grapes will be “smoky” like they were in 2002.

There were a few mornings when the valley was filled with smoke, but mostly the winds took the smoke the other direction, he said.

He didn’t take any chances and set up some fire hoses and pumps and field sprayers with water just incase he needed to fight fire.

He wasn’t asked to evacuate, but probably wouldn’t have if he had been.

“You’ve got a lot at stake. I don’t like just handing over my, what’s going to happen with my life, to anybody. I’d just as soon be in control of it myself.”

“After the Sheldon Ridge fire we got fire hoses and fire nozzles. And we set up tanks on our pickups and had a pump. I’m not saying we could take the place of firefighters, that’s what they do, but I want to be prepared. I’m happy that we didn’t have to fight any fires.”

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