Bear Fire evacuee returns to find his home still standing

Some Bear Fire evacuees are now getting to return to what's left of their lives.

Posted: Sep 15, 2020 4:37 PM

OROVILLE, Calif. – The Butte County Sheriff's Office reduced some evacuation orders to warnings. Now some Bear Fire evacuees are able to return to their homes. 

After being evacuated from his property last week, Paul Ray was the first back in his neighborhood and he is happy to be home, even happier to see his home still standing.

Ray lives on Faye Mar Drive just across from Lumpkin Road in Oroville.

He says officers told him the flames would hit his property in 30 minutes. So he packed up his only picture of his late parents and son, some cloths, medicine and left.

He still recalls the moment he saw the flames peak over the trees.

“I thought well that looks pretty close,” Ray said. “It [the fire] was pretty high. And when they said a half hour to 45 minutes, I thought oh I think it’s time to go because it was traveling fast.

Ray was the first one to return once the evacuation order was lifted … he says he did not think his home was going to be there when he returned.
“I wasn't going to believe it until I got here,” said Ray.

Ray says nothing was damaged near or in his home, neither were four other houses on Faye Mar Drive.

Click here for the latest updates on the Bear Fire.

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