(KTXL) — Vacaville firefighters and property owners alike say they’re ready for the threat of fire amid all the red flag warnings.
For the Benzinger family, all but two of their sprawling 185-acre property off Pleasants Valley Road was ravaged by flames from the LNU Complex Fire.
“It was like a collective group of all of us that just like stayed and fought the fire,” said Missy Benzinger, with the Zinger Ranch Farm Sanctuary.
Their property is also home of the Zinger Ranch Farm Sanctuary.
“Mostly farm rescue. So, we’ve got goats, donkeys, sheep, chickens. We get lots of roosters,” Missy said. “Everything burned except for this acre that they graze — all the trails that go throughout our acreage, the land around our home, and the land that we graze above our home.”
Fortunately, they were able to pile multiple animals into a trailer and evacuate safely.
“We’ve done a lot of work before, just to kind of get it that way. Kinda all of us have done a really good job,” Missy said.
And the animals have contributed greatly to being fire ready.
“Up below the house, we have the fenced-off area that we had some sheep at for about a month, and the sheep were totally happy to eat everything down on the hillside creating a fire break for us.” said Steve Benzinger.
“We’ve been really intentional with our grazing, we’ve been really intentional with weed-whacking in the morning long before it’s brown,” Missy said.
Vacaville Fire Chief Kris Concepcion says residents being mindful and creating those fire breaks are key.
“One of the lessons that we learned last year was that that absolutely works, and so we have to be insistent on that every year,” Concepcion said.
Their land has bounced back beautifully with only a few spots that still linger showing where the fire passed through.
“It was a group effort. Our neighbors: We would not be here without them,” Missy said.