Category Community Story

Jim Gregory

I am a third-generation cabin owner at Camp Sierra. My grandparents started coming to Camp Sierra in the 1920s, as a retreat from the heat of the summer months in the valley, to relax, have fellowship and attend Methodist church meetings sometimes called Chautauqua. My parents were evacuated from our cabin during the 1994 Big Creek Fire

Deana Coburn

It was September 4, 2020, and we were up for the weekend. In the early morning of Saturday September 5, we woke up to the sound of sirens. It was one of those times when you tried to go back to sleep but the sound of the sirens kept coming, so we got up. I went to the sliding glass door in our bedroom and looked down but could not see anything but could smell smoke and was concerned.

Bobby Coburn

We brought relatives up for the weekend of Friday, September 4, 2020, and during the night we started hearing sirens. At 5:00 o'clock in the morning on Saturday September 5, I drove down to the Pub and Grub in town where some people were congregating at the gas station. A man had his phone and showed me pictures of fire at Big Creek. Lots of cars were coming down the hill at a rapid pace. That was a lot for 5:30 in the morning.

Lee Hooten

I was serving as a Fire Patrol for Southern California Edison Forestry on September 4, 2020, at approximately 1822 hours, I heard the report of the Creek Fire came over the radio. I carry a radio to monitor other agencies such as Cal Fire, U.S. Forest Service, etc. The dispatch I heard placed it near Big Creek, and I responded due to the potential threat and/or damage to SCE property.

Brother Jack Henderson, FCS

I am Brother Jack Henderson. I'm a De La Salle Christian brother. I have been since 1980, shortly after I graduated from high school. I was director of Camp La Salle for 22 years before we sold it two years before the Creek Fire [to Kennolyn Camps]. I’m also a Huntington Lake Volunteer Firefighter. The story that I'm going to tell is one of miraculous survival--you wouldn't have imagined it.

Supervisor Nathan Magsig

Leading up to the Creek Fire, the County of Fresno was concerned with the density and significant number of dead trees in Eastern Fresno county. In 2015, the Rim Fire burned over 150,000 acres near Hume Lake and the sense of urgency to thin the Forest was ever present. By 2019 there were over 25 million dead trees in Fresno County alone.

John Craycroft

The Shaver Ranch on Pine Ridge has been in the Shaver family for 100 years and was left in ashes by the Creek Fire one year ago. It is difficult to recognize. The devastation has removed landmarks, but there is the creek and meadow, the familiar curve of the highway, the rock wall, and the Shaver Ranch sign at the entrance.

Donna Baker Martin, Ed.D.

It has been a year and a half since the Creek Fire started and I did not want to write my story. I avoided it because it meant it was real. I encouraged others to write their stories since I was part of the Storytelling Group but just hadn’t gotten around to writing mine.

Elin Van Vleet Anderson

I have a project for us." It was my mom calling from Shaver. My husband ,Tim, and I were getting ready to load our dogs into the car and head up to my parents’ house to spend Labor Day weekend like we do almost every year. This year it was different.

Tori Lysdahl-Goss

My name is Tori Lysdahl-Goss. I was raised in Shaver Lake and graduated from both Big Creek Elementary and Sierra High School. After many years away pursuing my career as a professional singer and actress, in 2013 I and my husband, David Goss, returned to Shaver, becoming full-time residents of Ockenden Ranch.