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Dulzura family reeling again 15 years after losing Bible camp to Harris Fire

Dulzura family devastated by wildfire 15 years after losing bible camp to Harris Fire
Posted at 4:59 PM, Sep 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-04 23:51:52-04

DULZURA, Calif. (KGTV) — A Dulzura man is recounting his family’s harrowing escape from the Border 32 fire as his home burned Wednesday, which marks the second time his family has been devastated by wildfire.

ABC 10News was there as Steve Campbell returned to his RV home on Barrett Smith Road for the first time since the Border 32 Fire ignited Wednesday.

“My stomach is just spinning around,” said Campbell, choking back tears.

That Wednesday afternoon, Campbell was in his 26-foot RV watching a movie, when he smelled something.

“That's when I saw smoke over the trees. Gosh, that's fast. It’s going to hit quick,” said Campbell.

He drove down the road and once he saw flames in a field, he drove back to the main house and told his father to pack a to-go bag.

“All of a sudden I hear this deafening roar,” said Campbell. “Came outside and saw fire and wind being pushed this way. I look at my home, and I said, ‘I'm going to lose my home.’”

Campbell says he could gather only a few belongings before he drove his father away from the flames that surrounded them.

“Hitting oleander bushes right while we were driving, which were on fire,” said Campbell.

Nearby, his home was also engulfed in flames.

“It was torched. It was going,” said Campbell.

It's not the first time his family has dealt with the impact of wildfires.

“Fire came from east, torched the whole valley,” said Campbell.

In 2007, the Harris Fire burned almost all the structures on the same 40-acre property, including his parent's home and a Bible camp they had run for 46 years.

The two structures that survived the Harris Fire, a treehouse and a bathroom, were not spared by the Border 32 Fire. A tiny home was also destroyed in the most recent wildfire.

In the aftermath of that additional heartbreak, Campbell leans on his faith.

“All we got to say is God is in charge,” said Campbell.

The rebuilt home of Campbell's father, a widower, did survive.

Campbell searched the ashes of his RV, but didn’t find anything salvageable. He lost many sentimental items in the fire.

“All my kids' schools papers,” said a tearful Campbell. “A cowboy hat belonging to a son who passed away from a car accident.”

But Campbell takes comfort in what was not lost.

“Things I got out were important: my medicine, my Bible and my dad.

Campbell did not have insurance on his RV.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help him with living expenses.