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Sonoma residents protect neighborhood from wildfire with own firetruck, hoses

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Parts of the city of Sonoma are on edge Thursday night waiting to see which way the fires turn. They don't want to wait for their homes to be destroyed -- so they're taking a stand with their own firefighting equipment, led by a retired battalion chief. (KGO-TV)

Parts of the city of Sonoma are on edge Thursday night waiting to see which way the fires turn.

LIST: Buildings damaged, destroyed by North Bay wildfires

Some residents inside the mandatory evacuation zone aren't leaving -- they have their own water truck. They've set up ladders. They're constantly watering down the roof of a house that has shingles on the roof and is very flammable.

The fear is that if that house goes down, it will bring the rest of the neighborhood with it.

"We're gonna make a stand and try to save the neighborhood," said retired fire battalion chief Dennis Field.

Field is leading the charge. He organized the entire effort and even got a back hoe in to dig a trench to create more defensible space behind the houses.

Because as it stands Thursday evening, the fire is less than two miles from the neighborhood.

FULL LIST: North Bay fires prompt evacuations, road closures

"Once we got the water here, inch-and-a-half hose, we can take care of it," Field added.

"This is my house," said resident Doug Campbell. "And I'm trying to protect it to the extent I can."

Police, who are manning the road block just down the street, know these folks are back here and that they're staying at their own risk.

In the meantime, just about a mile from the neighborhood, managers at Sonoma Post Acute, which is a rehab and care facility, are readying to move patients if necessary.

Their Santa Rosa site was evacuated Tuesday night because of the fire's proximity.

The group of neighbors is keeping round-the-clock watch on the house. They say the only way they'll evacuate is if the wind dramatically picks up and shifts.

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