FIRE SEASON 2014: Thousands Evacuated In Oakhurst
OAKHURST, Calif. (KMPH) —
More than 13,000 evacuation notices have been issued in Oakhurst for the Junction Fire. Thousands of people are not in their homes Monday night and all they can do is watch and wait to see if their home burned down.
Air tanker after air tanker dropped flame retardant on the fire as it raced up the hills in Oakhurst.
"It's hard for me to watch because about four or five years ago my house burned down," says Johanna Van Zandt, who evacuated her home.
The Van Zandt family says a few, quick minutes were all they had to get what they could out of their home.
"Within minutes it grew bigger than any little camp fire or fire that I had ever seen, "says Van Dandt's son.
Firefighters say the flames are moving fast, the fire grew from 90 acres to 500 acres in a few hours. In a neighborhood just off of Highway 41 there was burned brush around homes, but the houses were fine. However, some sheds were destroyed which is too close for comfort for evacuees like the Van Dandt's.
"I was freaking out. I called my mom and I called my brother and I wanted to call 911. I was freaking out," adds Van Dandt.
The Red Cross has set up a shelter at the Coarsegold Community Center on Highway 41.