OROVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — What was once a great view of Lake Oroville was surrounded by smoke, fire and leveled homes in Berry Creek.
The Bear Fire, part of the North Complex fires, continued to burn Wednesday.
“It’s a bummer. My wife drove to Sacramento with our pets and she’s in a hotel there,” explained evacuee John Vogler.
Vogler said he was ordered to evacuate but he decided to stay put. He said he had been fortunate but was concerned for his friend.
“Mine is fine, we’re in my house. But his house he lived in Berry Creek on Encina Grande and the fire went there. So, it’s possible that he has no house to go home to,” he told FOX40.
Oroville Mayor Chuck Reynolds said the flames were still plowing through the east side of the lake.
“There’s not enough personnel to actually fight the fire, so they’re just letting it burn out,” Reynolds said.
Burned properties and ashened communities could be seen along Oro Quincy Highway.
Mayor Reynolds said the flames ripped through Berry Creek, Brush Creek, Clipper Mills, Forbestown and Sutter Falls.
“I can’t use the word ‘completely’ but I can say that the damage is substantial,” the mayor told FOX40.
For a community often faced with this type of turmoil, Vogler said evacuating every year has become commonplace — but it never gets easier.
“Every year it seems to get worse and worse,” he said. “It didn’t used to be like this but now, yeah, every year it’s drier and we have a fire it seems like every year.”
An evacuation center has been set up at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds.