Sioux Falls man remembers California wildfires - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls man remembers California wildfires

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Wildfire evacuees are returning home this weekend after being forced out of their southern California homes.

The fires near San Diego have killed one person and burned nearly 10,000 acres.

A Sioux Falls man lived near San Diego and said the two fires that stick out in his mind were in 2003 and 2007.

Those ones were close to his home and he actually remembers looking out his office window and seeing the fire barreling down the mountain just 20 miles away.

Tom Morgan lived through fires like the ones tearing through San Diego.

"It's a life threatening situation. There were 15 people who died in that 2003 fire. So it's very serious deal," said Morgan.

He lived near San Diego for 30 years.

"We lived in Rancho Santa Fe, which is one of the hardest hit towns in the 2003 fire," he added.

He has dealt with wildfires many times.

"I remember walking out of the house and the whole sky was amber brown, a gold color and it's very eerie," Morgan continued.

He understands the disruption people feel when they're forced to evacuate.

"My wife, I wasn't there, but packed up all the photographs and pictures and watching it on television constantly until they had to evacuate," he said.

Morgan said fire season is usually during the fall.

But this early spring fire, could actually be good news.

"There will be less fuel to consume in these areas next to the houses. So in an odd way, it's kind of a good thing to get out of the way," Morgan explained.

California firefighters fear this weeks massive wildfires could be just the beginning of a long fire season ahead.
Area fire crews have responded to more than 1,500 fire this year, compared with 800 they see in an average year.

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