'It's in the back of all of our minds': Tubbs Fire survivors hope their homes are spared this season

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ByLuz Pena via KGO logo
Sunday, May 9, 2021
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We're experiencing a Red Flag Warning two months ahead of what firefighters anticipated -- It has survivors of the devastating Tubbs Fire four years ago on edge once again.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- It's day two of the National Weather Service issuing a Red Flag Warning for the North Bay Mountains, East Bay Hills and East Bay Valleys.

In October of 2017, Carla Castaneda's parents woke up to their neighborhood engulfed in flames.

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Almost four years later, we're experiencing a Red Flag Warning two months ahead of what firefighters anticipated.

"It's hard to bring it up to my parents, but I think we all know that is here. We don't really like to talk about it. But I know it's in the back of all of our minds," Carla Castañeda Terry.

The warning is in effect from 11 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday. Humidity and high temperatures in the upper 80's are playing key roles.

"This county has been through a lot, so the Red Flag Warning and the information we are putting out is not intended to scare people. It's to make sure that people understand what the conditions are and that they are taking those preventative measures," said Paul Lowenthal, Assistant Fire Marshall Santa Rosa Fire.

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Lowenthal says this time around, Santa Rosa is better equipped for wildfires.

"The improvements to the emergency alert system, and the networking cameras that monitor our communities now have really enhanced our ability to respond to wildfires," said Lowenthal.

As to the Castañeda family, this rebuilt their home.

"At first we didn't want to rebuild this home because we always knew that it would still be a problem, but my dad always made sure to tell us that when he came to this country, he left for us and his nephews that he was resilient," said Gladys Castañeda, Santa Rosa Resident.

Gladys says most of her neighbors couldn't rebuild and decided to leave the area after the Tubbs fire.

"I would say out of 30 house only three have come back," said Castañeda.