MIDDLETOWN (KCBS) – Aaron and Angela Wiebe were drawn to the Berryessa Heights subdivision now ravaged by the Butts fire because of Pope Valley’s natural beauty and solitude.

The couple worries about fire every year, but now the idyllic lifestyle Aaron works two jobs to be able to maintain could disappear in the smoke visible from the Red Cross evacuation center.

“You don’t really realize the threat until it’s right at your door step,” he said.

The call came Tuesday recommending they leave a home situated on rugged terrain down a one-lane road, a place where there has been fire before.

“When I saw the fire, I looked at it and said hey, that’s big and it’s going to get worse,” Aaron said.

Two days later, the fire had consumed more than 4,300 acres.

Normally being surrounded by nature, far from traffic in an area that’s difficult to access by car would be a source of pleasure rather than a cause for concern, Angela said.

“We’re right on the creek, so we spend a lot of time swimming in the creek,” she said, adding that the beauty outweighs any danger.

Like the dozens of neighbors camped out with them at the evacuation center, the Weibes recognized how hard the firefighters were working to save what they hold precious.

“Not knowing is hard,” Angela said.

“If I knew I was going home to a house, that would be one thing. I don’t know what I’m going home to.”


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