SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) Firefighters continue to mop up after the Valley Fire tore through Lawson Valley, burning 17,665 acres.
Messages of gratitude for the crews on the frontlines can be seen throughout the area.
At least 30 homes and 31 minor structures were destroyed, but all evacuation orders and road closures were lifted on Friday.
In much of the burn area, firetrucks have been replaced with utility vehicles.
“I watched the flames start coming over the mountain, like fingers, like some creature,” said Seth Matteson who lives in Lawson Valley.
He left his home as the fire started to spread Sept. 5, fearing the worst, but was thankful to come home and find his house on Prairie Drive still standing.
“In the back it came right up to the house, and in the front it came right up to the house,” he explained.
Just down the road, several homes and vehicles burned in the fire.
“I’ve been through 8 hurricanes, and this is way scarier to me than that. When I see flames coming at me at 20 to 30 miles an hour or however fast they were,” he said.
The County of San Diego has set up an assistance center at Rancho San Diego Library to help residents affected by the Valley Fire.
People in need of assistance can also click here or call 858-715-2200.