LOS ANGELES — A California man who canceled a trip to Utah Friday is unpacking after evacuations forced him and his wife to leave their West Hills home as fires raged nearby.
Mitch Levy had plans to fly to Salt Lake City to see friends and attend the University of Oregon/University of Utah football game with his brother Saturday. He called it off as the situation intensified.
“Family in Chicago are sending me messages like ‘hey, are you guys ok?’,” Levy explains. “At that point, once I start hearing it’s national news, it gives me a little bit more reason to be concerned.”
Levy’s neighborhood was placed on voluntary evacuation Friday.
“‘Your neighborhood is not under current threat, but it’s going to be or it might be, so we suggest that you go’,” recalls Levy.
He and his wife spent the weekend fearing the worst, but he says they are grateful they came out fine. That said, he knows people who weren’t so lucky.
“I have friends who lost their houses. I have friends working with the Sheriff’s department, working with the fire department, who were out there for three days not knowing if their own houses were still ok,” says Levy.
According to Levy, the fire came within about a mile of his home.
Levy says, “That’s the thing that everyone kind of says is ‘I never think it’s going to be me’ or ‘I never think it’s going to be my friends’, and then here it is.”
At least 29 are confirmed dead in the wildfire that tore through Paradise, California.