Posted: Jul 10, 2012 11:20 AM by Adam Bell - MTN News
After two weeks of being away due to the Pony Fire, residents in the town of Mammoth were able to return to their homes on Sunday.
For many residents, it was great news to return to a home they thought might not ever be there again.
"Definitely relief, definitely a lot of gratitude for these guys that worked here. I mean, I cannot speak too highly of them. You know, we could look up and the fire was burning really pretty strong, and in this canyon it's a bad place, it's a dangerous place," says full time resident Bill Beam.
"Well it's great, this was going to be a place for the family to meet, and we have it!" For Ed Knadler and his family, it's time to continue yard cleanup for the big family reunion next month. Two weeks ago, there was fear the home wouldn't be here.
"I looked at where it started, and I looked at the terrain and at the probable paths, and I didn't think it would make it here, but there's no way to be sure. And as it went on, it got closer and closer, so we were a little nervous at times," says Knadler.
When describing leaving the town, Bill Beam says "We didn't have a chance to really grab any clothes, we have a Deputy Sheriff and he says 'we've got to go!'"
Beam had time to empty his safe, and get out. But thanks to some hard work and effort fighting the Pony Fire, Beam was able to return, finding his home just as he left it.
"I may have some had some hard feelings for the forest service before but I haven't any more," says Bill.
He adds that now it's time to think about how to protect the home from any future fires, saying, "I'm going to put hard steel pipe along the ridge poles of the house, the home, the ridgeline, with Rainbird sprinklers, and pipe it right in with a pump whether we have to have power or not it will be a gasoline pump, so we'll take that precaution.
Making sure he is prepared for the next fire in this small town of Mammoth.