Happy Camp evacuees holding it together after home burnt from Slater Fire

YREKA, Cali – Three generations of a Siskiyou Co. family are holding it together more than a month after losing their home in the Slater Fire.

Tanya Garcia answered the phone on the morning of Tuesday, September 8th to her neighbor telling her she should pack a bag because a fire was nearby. Slater Fire evacuee saw the plume of smoke nearby but had no idea it was so close. Within minutes she, her pregnant daughter, and grandkids who didn’t even have time to grab shoes left the home. It later burned to the ground.

Five weeks later it still haunts her every day.

“I smell smoke I have flashbacks. I used to love the wind, but now when the wind blows it takes me back to that morning,” said Garcia.

There wasn’t much time to do anything.

“By the time we knew the fire was really right there we were running out of the house we weren’t able to grab anything,” said Garcia.

It didn’t take long for Garcia, her then 7-month pregnant daughter, and 2 grandkids to know their home was gone forever.

“I think by the time I left my house I made it to the middle of town the police officer said my house was already gone,” said Garcia, “You know 17 years of memories, birthday presents, everything”.

Now, the family of *almost five are spending their days at a hotel in Yreka.

“We were in so much shock, we didn’t know what to think, what to do. I’ve cried every day actually,” said Garcia.

More than a month later the family is trying to find closure.

“You’re still alive, but it’s a nightmare. But it’s not even a nightmare it’s just reality, it’s just flat out reality. It’s like what to do you next, where do you go next, who do you call next,” said Garcia.

They still haven’t seen their burnt home they can’t without a police escort.

Now they are urging the federal government to declare the town a disaster so they can begin to rebuild what’s broken.

“We need FEMA to step in over 150 people lost their homes and they have nowhere to go,” said Garcia.

Without the declaration, the town of Happy Camp cannot get FEMA assistance. U.S. Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s Office tells us the disaster declaration is awaiting the president’s signature.

The family has a GoFundMe to donate click HERE.

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