There are new accusations from some who live in the town of Bonny Doon in the Santa Cruz Mountains claiming Cal Fire crews did not do enough to save their homes from the CZU Complex Fire.
Flames ripped through the area and destroyed everything in its path. Some residents chose to stay and fight the flames even after being ordered to evacuate.
Jamyrson Pitorri was able to save her house and is keeping a close eye on flare ups. Pitorri is frustrated with Cal Fire’s response to the blaze.
“They could’ve put it out,” she said. They could’ve saved a lot of this community and they didn’t, and I don’t know why.”
Pitorri said she is specifically frustrated that fire crews told her they had no water, yet she adds Cal Fire refused to use a working hydrant on her property.
Resident George Saam has the same complaint. He said fire crews would not hook up to a nearby hydrant.
“That fire hydrant has 15,000 gallons of water and they would not hook up to it,” Saam said.
Pitorri said neighbors were forced to fend for themselves, so they turned pick ups into water trucks as they worked to protect homes with shovels and garden hoses.
When asked why crews did not use home hydrants, Cal FIre said hand crews are not trained to do water fights and may not have had the hoses or adjusters to tap into some hydrants.
Cal Fire officials also said the first night they only had 15 engines and were outgunned by Mother Nature, so they were forced to triage their response in order to save the most homes.
Meanwhile, Bonny Doon homeowners said they were required to put in the hydrants and they paid thousands of dollars to install them so they do not understand why Cal Fire did not use them.
Source: NBC Bay Area