SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The River Delta Fire District continued its work Tuesday to contain a fire that destroyed 30 structures in Sacramento County.
Fire Chief Paul Cutino said 54 acres have burned so far and the fire is at 60% containment after breaking out Monday afternoon at Rancho Marina RV Park along Brannan Island Road. Deputy Fire Chief Hugh Henderson, with River Delta Fire District, said the strong winds hampered firefighting efforts.
No injuries have been reported and while many homes were saved, dozens more were lost. 25 mobile homes were destroyed along with 16 RVs and a park building. 20 buildings are still threatened.
"I don't mind losing the trailer or any of the functional things, my clothes. It's just that I had sentimental papers in there." said James Topf, who lost his trailer in the fire.
While searching through the rubble, one of the items Topf found was his Catholic Devotional. He said finding that meant more than anything.
"God didn’t cause this devastation but He will get me through it," Topf said.
'A closer call couldn't have been more apparent'
Nestled in on the edge of the Delta near Isleton, Chirelle Hughes and her 10-year-old daughter Tayah had just recently moved in with her aunt Karen at the Rancho Marina Mobile Home Park.
"So we just moved in to take care of her and then this happens, it’s been a bad year for her," Hughes said.
Hughes was still at work on Monday when she got a frantic phone call from her daughter.
"She said, 'Mom, I can’t find Bear, there’s fire next door to the house' and I was like, 'Call 911, call 911!'” she said.
Tayah and Karen were able to escape safely, but the home Karen had for 17 years didn’t make it.
"Our shed is the only thing standing," Karen said. “It’s devastating; that’s where we used to live and it’s sad. You know, you see this kind of stuff happen all the time, but you never think it’s going to happen to you and then it does and then what do you do?!”
Hughes said they didn’t have insurance either.
"Couldn’t afford it. She was laid off because of COVID and then she fell and broke her hip," Hughes said.
It was a different story for Cayley Franchuk and Thomas Zimmerman, who moved here six months ago from Montana.
"I thought we were getting away from the wildfires, and there was one right in our backyard," Franchuk said.
They stayed back to help fight the fire when they say firefighters didn't show up right away.
"When you've got 20-foot flames behind you though, I've never felt more of a hopeless feeling," she said. "It's just like what do you do at that point? And the water tanks melted, so we were out there with our hoses, and then our hoses dissipated, nothing -- no water coming out, so you're just completely hopeless."
And even though their RV is still standing, with no running water, power, or timeline of when it could come back, they don't plan to stay.
"We are going back to Montana. We've had our three strikes in California and a closer call couldn't have been more apparent, so we're literally packing up and probably leaving tomorrow morning," she said.
Chief Cutino says they still have not determined the cause of the fire, but says high winds was a major contributor into what made the fire as devastating as it was.
Full containment is expected by Tuesday night, if conditions allow for it.
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