Evacuees return home as fire crews continue containing River Fire

California

(KTXL) — Many residents who evacuated due to the River Fire returned home or found out their home was destroyed. 

While many people lost everything, officials say things could have been a lot worse. 

“I got no home,” said Michael Mazikowski. 

Mazikowski’s home of 16 years was leveled. 

“‘Only had 15-20 minutes to get out. The fire was so fast and raged and was so hot,” Mazikowski said. 

He says he was fortunate he and his wife can stay with their daughter nearby.

On Saturday, fire officials lifted many evacuation orders allowing people in both counties to see what was left. 

“The fire is moderated. We certainly are not out of the woods yet,” said Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Fire Chief Brian Estes. 

Estes says many people lost their homes but it could have been worse if the response from crews was any slower. The challenge now is finishing the job. 

“We are only one day away, one hour away from another major fire burning. Holding onto the resources we need to secure lines is critical. Not losing them to a new fire, that is my main concern,” Estes said. 

For those who lost everything, they hope things will get better. 

“I hope nobody has to go through this, it’s pretty devastating,” Mazikowski said. 

He told FOX40 he and his wife are unsure if they will rebuild. 

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