Tess Vigeland (NSPR), Andre Byik (NSPR)
Residents in Shasta County have faced mandatory evacuation as the Zogg Fire has burnt through 40,317 acres with no containment.
Brian Miller, a 58-year-old retiree, lives on Zogg Mine Road in Igo. He and his girlfriend evacuated with their dogs and cat.
“My girlfriend grabbed the phone and called PG&E and listened to the recording, if they were having a planned public safety power Shutoff,” Miller said. “They indicated that they did not and then the phone died. As soon as she looked out the bedroom window she saw 200-foot flames and they were about 700 feet away from the house.”
The couple grabbed their dogs and cat and headed in the car in one direction, but ran into more fire so they turned around.
“There was fire on both sides of the road and there were pieces of wood in the road that was on fire,” he recounted. “We only had to stop at one point because there were a bunch of horses on the road and the owners were trying to get them and holding onto their mouthpieces but no saddles or nothing.”
They had been evacuated during the Carr Fire in 2018 when 98% of their property burned, but their home survived. They don’t yet know if their home survived this time around, but after 28 years there, they’re never leaving.
“I just love it. It’s in the forest, of course, but it’s just peaceful and quiet,” he said. “Like the Carr Fire, we will rebuild and get on with it.”
Three people have died in the fire. Firefighters were working Tuesday to keep it away from Rainbow Reservoir and the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Shasta State Park and Museum have been evacuated.
Cal Fire section chief Sean Kavanaugh says there are preliminary discussions about allowing evacuees to return to their properties, but it will take time before that happens.
"For repopulation of a large incident like this it’s just not when the fire moves through and there’s no more fire," Kavanaugh said. "There’s a lot of factors we have to take into account. We have to make sure the area is safe for the public to return and make sure that we have working utilities to put people back in their homes.
Air support for firefighters had to be called off late Tuesday afternoon because of poor visibility due to smoke.
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