Residents forced to evacuate return home to survey properties after Kincade Fire

Bay Area

HEALDSBURG (KRON) – As firefighters work closer to full containment of the Kincade Fire, people forced to flee their homes in Healdsburg are now surveying their properties since evacuation orders have been lifted. 

Smoke and flames replaced by contractors clearing the road.

What’s typically a 15-minute ride along Leslie Road for Jason Dedrick to reach his uncle’s property in Healdsburg, now stretching closer to 45-minutes while crews shuttle debris to make the roadway safer for people to pass through.

“I’m up here a lot with him, and it’s just devastating,” Dedrick said. 

KRON4 met Dedrick’s uncle Richard Toyfoya and his wife Latonia last week while they were seeking help at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.

“I’m not doing well at all. My house is burned down to the cinders,” Toyfoya said.

Dedrick returned to his uncle’s property Tuesday, one of several trips he’s made since evacuation orders were lifted.

“Like ‘unc” said, it’s down to the cinders. Truthfully, it’s just, kinda don’t know where to begin to unravel it,” Dedrick said.

The family home was engulfed by the Kincade Fire. 

Though the barn and a storage unit were essentially unscathed, the house and at least a dozen vehicles were destroyed.

“You get up to the driveway, come around the bend, you think the place is safe, you get up the steep hill, and you get up top of here, and you see the place is gone, and that was heart-wrenching,” Dedrick said.

Dedrick says the water levels of his uncle’s two ponds are significantly lower now compared to when the fire started.

He believes fire crews used the water for airdrops.

Several neighbors managed to keep their homes.

In part, Dedrick says, with help from the Toyfoya’s water and, yet, it is they who are left to rebuild.

“It’s terrible, you know, the way it all came down, because I expected to see ‘unc’s” old house up here, you know, and the good old entryway, you would see him up here cooking something, but not today,” Dedrick said.

One horse is missing, otherwise, all other family livestock is accounted for.

The family is still whole, that’s enough to keep them strong.

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