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Wrightwood community meets, discuss fire

October 5, 2009 12:09:17 AM PDT
Many concerned Wrightwood residents gathered at a shelter in Victorville Sunday night.All of Wrightwood's 4,000 residents are still evacuated, leaving a ghost-like town behind until likely tomorrow.

Anxious and confused, dozens of Wrightwood residents showed up at a shelter in Victorville Sunday night trying to find out if their homes are still standing.

"Definitely want to know how close it really got to us, is our house safe? How soon can we go home?" Lynne Vokac of Wrightwood asks.

Early Sunday morning, thousands of residents in the mountain community were told to evacuate. Known for the popular Mountain High Ski Resort, Wrightwood is still in the direct path of the Sheep Fire.

"We've had erratic winds throughout the evening, but it has died down which is a good sign, so hopefully we can get our aircraft up earlier tomorrow and make more progress," says Tracey Martinez of San Bernardino County fire.

Over in Lytle Creek, residents were given good news Sunday night: they can now go home.

However, Gabe Garcia's good friend has no home.

He says "Bobby" is a fellow forest service ranger who was working on the Sheep Fire Saturday night when his home in Swarthout canyon went up in flames.

Bobby was also the local dog rescuer. Some were able to escape, but about half a dozen dogs on the property were killed.

"I took him in last night, and we didn't know what condition his home was in," says Garcia, a U.S. Forest Service ranger.

"It is horrible because you had to look with flash lights because there were just embers, and he was looking around and he's calling dog names out and you run across one, and you run across another and it's just a horrible scene," Garcia describes.

Most residents are thankful that their homes are likely still standing tonight.

Some like this couple from Wrightwood were just happy to be reunited at this shelter.

If the weather cooperates, people should be able to return back home sometime tomorrow.

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