'That breaks my heart': Popular ranch in Vacaville damaged by wildfire, owners recount scary evacuations

ByKristen Sze and Eric Shackelford KGO logo
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

VACAVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- Imagine getting woken up in the middle of the night and being forced to get out of your house because of a wildfire.

That's, once again, the scary reality as tens of thousands of people are evacuated due to hundreds of fires. That includes the Vacaville area, where dozens of homes have burned including one that's very special to the community: The Yin Ranch on Pleasants Valley Road. That's the home of the immigrant turned McDonald's entrepreneur who represents the American Dream - CC Yin.

HENNESSEY FIRE: Evacuations ordered in Vacaville as wildfire destroys dozens of homes

ABC 7 News saluted CC Yin during Asian-American Pacific Islander heritage month in May, because his non-profit donated millions of PPE to frontline workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Yin, his daughter Mary and Vacaville's Fire Chief joined ABC7 News Anchor Kristen Sze on "Getting Answers" to talk about being evacuated and the aftermath.

"The entire area is wiped out by the wildfires," CC said. "Our ranch managers, workers and our friends came in to help us out. Taking water from the lake, walking 2,000 feet" to try and prevent the fire from causing any more damage.

Although, photos CC sent us show a lot of damage had already happened to the ranch.

This shows the aftermath of the Yin Ranch Event And Conference Place from LNU Lightning Complex fire in Vacaville on Aug. 19, 2020.
CC & Regina Yin

"I can vouch for the Yins kindness to the community," Vacaville Fire Chief Kris Concepcion said." Our entire community has been recipients of his generosity. Unfortunately, our resources were spread very thin." Concepcion said they had about 3,000 homes being threatened within city limits. "In almost 30 years in the fire service, it's very rare that I've seen the type of fire behavior that we saw last night. I saw a wall of flames about 40-feet high just travel into the city."

The Yin Ranch is used for many reasons including a wedding venue. In fact, Concepcion said they held their first public safety awards ceremony at the ranch. "That breaks my heart to see what happened there," Concepcion said.

WATCH: Video shows terrifying escape through flames of LNU Lightning Complex fires

As if the call to evacuate wasn't scary enough, the road out was harrowing. One evacuee in Winters, Calif. recorded this as he drove through the fire while evacuating.

"It was the most painful and agonizing night last night," Mary said. "Everything happened so fast." Mary thanked Kris and the fire department for their work to save as many homes as they could.

Yin added that firefighters, police officers and those on the front lines can get free breakfast, lunch and dinner at any of the McDonald's locations that Yin owns in Solano County.

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