ALPINE, Calif. (KGTV) - More than a week later, an Alpine native is still trying to process her ordeal after a harrowing escape from the Maui wildfires.
As the Maui fires exploded Tuesday, 27-year-old Tannah Zub and her boyfriend, Graham, drove from his apartment on Front Street to her rented home on a different part of the street.
At her house, an eerie sight began to envelop them.
“Billowing black smoke was sweeping across the ocean,” said Zub. “The embers were flying across, and you could tell the fire was getting closer and closer because it was getting darker and darker.”
For Zub, who grew up in Alpine, the threat of wildfire is nothing new.
She was about seven when the Cedar Fire evacuated her family for several days.
“I remember what the smoke smelled like and the worry everybody was experiencing,” said Zub.
Despite her background, she says the winds in Maui that day took her by surprise.
“We were physically being blown over. It felt like unsafe to be outside,” said Zub. “Our firefights and first responders were going against Mother Nature, and it wasn't a fair fight.”
At her home, Zub grabbed a few things, including her grandfather's ashes, before they evacuated to a home a few miles to the south.
“From 5 to about 10:30 p.m., we watched Lahaina town burn,” said Zub.
The next day, Graham was able to return to the area and found his apartment burned and Zub's house and vehicle destroyed.
“Devastation. Just heartbroken. Speechless,” said Zub.
Zub, a server at a restaurant, didn't have renters insurance.
She plans to rent a place with Graham about 45 minutes south of Lahaina, but she won't be staying away.
"Our goal is to help rebuild Lahaina and eventually return to Lahaina,” said Zub.
Zub will fly to San Diego in a week to visit with family before returning to Hawaii.
A Gofundme campaign has been started to help her with expenses and purchase supplies for shelters in Maui.