SANTA ROSA -- Safari West owner Peter Lang recalls the night the devastating Tubbs Fire erupted, threatening the 400 acres of his wildlife preserve and the surrounding area, which included his home just a couple of miles away.
“The Highway Patrol and the sheriffs evacuated us," Lang said. "I disappeared and stayed throughout the course of the fire. I was using tractors and forklifts and moving flammable material."
Lang says he had one goal -- to save the lives of more than 80 species of animals he has on the property.
"I was responsible for a thousand souls," he said.
It turns out that the animals at Safari West helped save it.
"We had so many animals and they did so much grazing that there wasn't much grass left in their pastures, so that was a major fire break," Lang said.
Now Peter and his wife, Nancy, are in the process of rebuilding their home.
"One of the first things I did was drive up to see if my house was still there. And it wasn't," Lang told FOX40. "We tried not to look back and just move forward."