CONCOW — It’s been five months since the Camp Fire destroyed Paradise and parts of Butte County.
While many are still scarred emotionally one Concow woman will deal with physical scars for the rest of her life.
Terra Hill suffered second and third-degree burns all over her body. She spends most days trying to mask her wounds.
“We have to change all of that twice a day,” she said.
But no amount of gauze can help her ease the pain.
“This isn’t me. I look in the mirror and I don’t see me,” Hill told FOX40. “There’s somebody there but it’s not me.”
Five months after the Camp Fire, Hill is just now getting out of a rehabilitation center.
“My day to day life is just consumed with pain and taking medications,” she said.
The morning of Nov. 8, blistering heat shook Hill awake.
“I peeked out the blinds and there was fire right there,” Hill said.
She yelled for her roommate and together they ran outside. Neither had a second to spare to put on shoes.
“When we opened the door the wind was so strong it blew the door off the trailer,” she said. “We tried to leave, but the truck only made it about 10, 15 feet and then it died.”
Hill’s roommate’s truck rolled into a ditch beside their home. The pair had to climb through flames to get back to the road.
“It was at that point that I looked down and I saw that my feet were melting off,” Hill told FOX40.
Hill ran down Cirby Creek Road but the flames were just too much, so she and her roommate took cover between two cars for protection.
“His head was one way, mine was the other. I looked over at the tire on the truck and the valve stem was right there and something inside me just told me to inhale the air from the tire,” she said.
She’s not sure how long they were there but the pain of her burns made it feel like hours.
“We started kicking each other to make sure we were both still alive. The last time I kicked him he didn’t kick back. I remember kicking him a few more times,” Hill told FOX40. “There was nothing.”
When Hill had all but given up hope of rescue, she heard the crunching of gravel.
“I knew it was the fire truck,” she said. “I yelled at the top of my lungs, ‘Don’t leave me!’”
Firefighters rushed to her side, loading her into their truck and driving her out of the Camp Fire.
It was too late to save her roommate.
“I remember every bump, every turn and the pain that went along with it,” Hill told FOX40.
When they reached an ambulance, everything turned to darkness for Hill.
She woke up at UC Davis Medical Center two months later. Doctors had put her in a medically induced coma.
After undergoing multiple surgeries, she’s now working to relearn the basics.
“But I will walk again. I push myself every day and I won’t stop,” she said.
Hill also hopes to one day meet the firefighters who saved her life face to face.
“I would love to meet them. I would love to tell them thank you. If they hadn’t shown up when they did, I probably would have died,” Hill said.
Hill knows she’ll carry both emotional and physical scars from the wildfire for the rest of her life, but she’s grateful she has a life to live.
“Just to get up every day is a miracle,” she told FOX40.