YouTube user “mulletFive” posted three videos on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, that show a harrowing escape from Anderson Springs amid the flames of the Valley fire in Lake County.
Here are the videos, as well as a few of his comments describing the scene as he and his family escaped the racing flames and smoke. (Beware a few moments of graphic language.)
“8 or 9 miles in total! My three videos are just a bit of it. Car windows became too hot to touch, I gave myself a mild burn on the driver's side window!”
“I had my wife, sister, and mother following in two VWs, and even at (about) 3 car length following distances the smoke was so thick there were times I couldn't see their headlights. So the hazards were a beacon of sorts.”
“We all made it out without injury, we are very lucky.”
“Actually, after I stopped filming I had to bash through a burning tree on 175 with my Dodge Sprinter. The van is probably totalled, but it made it out and saved us all! Yay Sprinter!”
“My wife was right behind me driving a VW Cabrio. The top was up, but still flammable! Luckily it didn't catch fire.”
“We did wait way too long to get out. We are the last house at the very back of the Springs, down in a gulch. There was no smoke or ash coming our way, and there were no sirens or air support nearby, so we honestly didn't know how close it was. Once we drove up out of our gulch, we realized how close it was. There were no sirens or air support because there was zero firefighting effort in Anderson Springs. (This is NOT a dig at the firefighters, by the way! There was just way too much fire in every direction, and they didn't have the resources to send to Anderson Springs.) So anyway, that is how we ended up leaving WAY too late. In retrospect, we should have gone out for a drive to find out what was going on, but we were a little preoccupied with packing.”