Q2 Morning Email Newsletter

Jul 19, 2012 9:34 AM by Adam Bell - MTN

Evacuees return home after Paradise Valley Fire threatens homes

LIVINGSTON - Residents were allowed to return home Wednesday evening after a fire threatened several structures in their neighborhood south of Livingston.

"The fire burned up right to the back of my property, they wouldn't let me go back into the house, we just got the animals out, everything else, most of it can be replaced, some of it can't but..." says local resident John Ooley.

Ooley found out about the evacuations while he was at work at M.S.U. He quickly rushed home to join his neighbors as they watch a fire threaten the neighborhood.

"To sit and watch a fire go by your neighbor's houses, it's kind of nerve-racking," says Ooley.

Before becoming fully contained Wednesday night, the fire torched loess than 1,100 acres, approximately 15 miles south of Livingston in Park County. Firefighters believe the fire to be human caused, near mile marker 36 off highway 89.

"The entire Caledonia subdivision ended up being threatened, approximately 15 residents were mandatorily evacuated, several other houses evacuated without being instructed to do so," says Captain Drew Beattie with Park County Rural Fire.

While residents were forced to leave their homes, they found returning, with their homes in tact to be a relief.

"It is, you know you don't, you know you miss your house, to be able to go in and relax, eat your dinner, stuff like that," says Ooley.

And in Ooley's opinion, these structures were saved by the hardworking firefighters keeping the neighborhood safe.

"The fire burned around 2 houses that I could see, completely around them, but the structures and everything are still standing. Everybody did a great job, keeping the roads clear, keeping the people out of the way that weren't supposed to be back there, the fire crews, the helicopters everybody did a great job!" adds Ooley.

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