IDYLLWILD (CBSLA) — The Cranston Fire is just about out, and residents of the affected mountain communities are returning home with a sense of relief and hope.
“I cried on the way up, it was amazing,” homeowner Linda Lauderbaugh told CBS2 News. Her home was spared in the 13,000-acre fire, which was 82 percent contained Monday. However, though hers was not one of the 12 homes lost, she said the damage is personal to everyone in the close community.
“You know, we’re such a tight-knit community, that you know people, and it was just horrifying to see,” said Lauderbaugh. “There were hummingbird feeders that were still hanging but were warped.”
Residents are already trying to figure out how to help neighbors who did not fare as well, and they’re thanking the firefighters who helped minimize the damage.
“Oh man, amazing isn’t it? And they’re good guys, and they know what they’re doing,” said homeowner Bruce Kintz. “We’re so grateful to everybody who worked on this fire. They saved us.”
The newfound optimism was somewhat tempered by the firefighters’ warnings about what could be in store. They’re still fighting to completely put out the blaze, and they told homeowners they have to prepare for possible mudslides and debris flows if and when storms hit the area.
“Certainly, we have the potential for that to happen here, whether that’s this week or next week while we’re still in the monsoonal summer season, or whether that’s winter rains,” said U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Lee Beyer.
Homeowners remained hopeful, saying that if Idyllwild can get through the fires, they can weather the storm.
“If we can get through this, we can get through anything,” said one woman.