Delta Fire Puts Dunsmuir On Edge

The town of Dunsmuir is only about 12 miles right now from the Delta Fire. While residents are only on an evacuation warning for now, tensions are high. Some have lost everything.

Posted: Sep. 7, 2018 8:55 PM
Updated: Sep. 7, 2018 8:59 PM

DUNSMUIR, Calif. -- The town of Dunsmuir is only about 12 miles right now from the Delta Fire. While residents are only on an evacuation warning for now, tensions are high. Some have lost everything.

James Ghiotto is the cook and manager of Penny's Diner Just off the interstate. He says that normally the restaurant would be full of people. Yet, there were only a handful all day.

“We want everybody to be protected and everybody to be safe," cried Ghiotto. "It’s a heart breaking thing. To see this and to know people are in danger.”

Still, he knows he’s lucky that it’s only business he’s lost. Some like Steve Pinzak have lost their homes. "It's gone," he murmurs.

He had to flee as the delta fire quickly came north, swallowing his town of Lamoine.

“When I pulled out, the flames were right there on the road," recalls Pinzak. They were just consuming everything they could. I had little camp fires from the ash coming over. And that happened in a couple of minutes. That’s how quick it was moving.”

For the time being, Steve has taken shelter in Dunsmuir at one of the now vacant motels.

There are not many people around town, but for now it’s a safe haven. Many residents say they’re ready to leave if things should change.

“In this town we are on an evacuation warning," explains Ghiotto. "So everybody’s supposed to be prepared. But it would mean complete chaos.”

Pinzak knows about the speed of this fire. “I’ve been on a couple of fires when I was logging and seeing some of them move pretty fast," he recalls. "This the fastest moving one I’ve seen. I mean it was cooking.”

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