'Everything is gone': Walbridge Fire scorches entire hillside, burns handful of North Bay homes

J.R. Stone Image
Monday, August 24, 2020
Healdsburg fire victim loses childhood home in LNU Complex Fire
The Walbridge Fire, just west of Healdsburg, scorched an entire hillside, burning half a dozen homes over the weekend. One resident was in tears after she found out her childhood home was destroyed.

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (KGO) -- On Sunday night, the Walbridge Fire, just west of Healdsburg, continues to burn. The Walbridge fire is part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire and scorched an entire hillside over the weekend

"Everything is gone," says Amber Magness whose parents live near the flames.

An area off of Mill Creek Road where we counted at least half a dozen homes destroyed and sadly that includes the home of Amber's parents.

RELATED: Evacuees hope firefighters can control Walbridge Fire, but possible lightning strikes could pose setback

"It was hard," Magness says. "It's just really hard cause I just remember my parents building that whole house with everything they had, just the two of them, it's just hard."

As the hillside burned, firefighters who had traveled here from Southern California were keeping a close eye. A Santa Monica firefighter telling us that the hillside is too steep for them to actively fight it. Those we talked with earlier in the day say it's hard knowing that there are still flames and there is still a fire fight.

"The fear of wildfires coming in your direction is inexplicable," says evacuee Jennie Cormie who lives near Guerneville.

The damage to the homes that once stood on Mill Creek Road is extensive. From the road you can see a burned out car, a bathtub, and a propane tank lying in the roadway.

VIDEO: Sonoma Co. Sheriff's helicopter rescues 2 firefighters trapped battling Woodward Fire

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office says a helicopter rescue team saved two firefighters with the Marin County Fire Department on Friday night when they were suddenly trapped by flames from the Woodward Fire near Point Reyes.

Magness said that while it's hard they will get through this,"Everything is rebuildable."

"There's a lot of beauty in fire but there is a lot of sadness in it. It's perseverance and strength. It's just like people we crumble and rebuild ourselves and make ourselves stronger and more beautiful."

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Get the latest updates and videos on the CZU, LNU and SCU Lightning Complex Fires here.