(KTXL) — It’s been nearly three years since a Yuba County man’s home burned to the ground in the Cascade Fire, and that fateful night will never fully leave his mind.
“I was determined to make sure I didn’t go through this again,” said Jim Degraff. “The smell of smoke gets us all especially in the middle of the night. You smell smoke and that triggers it all.”
Even just a few weeks ago, he had to evacuate his current home in the Loma Rica area because of the Willow Fire.
But these days with plenty of defensible space, green grass and hoses at the ready, Degraff has come a long way in being prepared.
“Oh, I was at a zero compared to what I am now,” Degraff told FOX40.
And with more trouble coming soon, it’s a good thing.
On Saturday night, PG&E held a virtual update on the possible power shutoffs to avoid a wildfire due to high winds.
The company says power will be turned off in stages. The part that will impacts tens of thousands of customers locally will happen Sunday afternoon.
“We are anticipating those winds coming in at the end of the day tomorrow, so what we want to do is begin the de-energization sequence in the late afternoon around 4 p.m.,” said PG&E incident commander Mark Quinlan.
For Degraff, safety from fire is now a year-round job.
“I’ve got a little landscaping here left to do next year and then I won’t have any dead grass around my house,” Degraff said.