Courtesy of Wendy Lopez
Madera County firefighters chat with the Lopez-Mendoza family in Knights Valley in northern California. The crew saved the family’s home from the Tubbs Fire.
My name is Wendy Lopez and my family and I would like to acknowledge and thank the Madera County Fire/CAL FIRE for their service and hard work during the Northern California fires specifically the Tubbs Fire. They saved our home in Knights Valley (between the county lines of Sonoma and Napa).
We evacuated on Sunday, Oct. 8, just a bit past 10:30 p.m. Our two sons Gabriel, Sebastian, my husband Will, my mother Estela and my sister Indira basically jumped out of bed after we got a call from our friend that the fire was coming our way. We just got time to get in the car, put our important documents in the truck and left in a hurry with nothing else but our pajamas on.
We left our two goats and chickens with their coop open, hoping they would escape. We had lost hope that our home was still standing when on Monday morning we learned that many of our neighbors’ homes were consumed by the fire. But later that day a neighbor gave us the good news that our two structures were still standing.
On Oct. 22, a day after our return home once the evacuation order was lifted, the firefighters from engine 316 — Bob Kernaghan, Alex Long, and Jonathan Navarro — surprised the whole family, and took time to put down a couple of trees that were still burning in the property.
For their bravery, hard work and lending a hand out to the neighboring counties we applaud them, and have our most sincere gratitude.
— Wendy Lopez for the Lopez-Mendoza family