Evacuees return home as firefighters make progress on Silver Fire

Silver Fire evacuees return home


Kathy Dexter and her husband Daniel filled their Poppet Flats home with 13 years of love and memories.

"The flames were coming over the hill so fast. We had a feeling there was a chance we wouldn't have a home when we came back," said Dexter.

As firefighters make headway on the Silver Fire, the threat to some evacuated communities withered away. Evacuees lined up to return home as evacuation orders were lifted for Snow Creek, Cabazon, Mt. Edna and Poppet Flats Friday evening.

For the Dexters, staring at their burned down home, their fears became a reality.

"There's not much left now. This is the first time I've been here since racing out of here three days ago. It's devastating. There are no words to put it," said Dexter.

It was a sigh of relief for some residents, knowing the fast moving flames had just knocked at their doors.

"The fire came about 45 feet away from my trailer. They were able to stop it," said Karen Chanel, a member of the Silent Valley RV Park.

"It's sad. I was crying, praying and watering at the same time. I watched my neighbors house burn. I thought mine was next," said Larry Hoganson, of Poppet Flats.

Some returning residents said they were thankful for the fire crews who were able to save their property, while others were left sifting through the debris and ash of the place they once called home.

"They tried, you can tell with the water droplets they tried to save it. There was just no saving it," said Dexter. 

Southern California Edison crews continued working to restore power, and firefighters keeping the flames at bay, while the charred communities try to move forward.

"We are trying to look on the bright side, we were able to get us and our animals out. We're still here. All I can hope for is to start all over again," said Dexter.

Evacuation orders remained in place for Twin Pines and the Silent Valley RV Park Friday.

Cal Fire encourages evacuees who are able to return home, to stay updated on the fire's status in case of weather and shift in flames.

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