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Jamul wildfire victims brace for Santa Ana winds, possible power shutoff

Posted at 4:23 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 20:21:45-05

JAMUL, Calif. (KGTV) - Some fire victims in Jamul are bracing for a potential power shutoff and more fire danger as the Santa Ana winds move in.

A charred landscape marks what was once a picturesque Hidden Haven Farms. Co-owner Ryan Skidmore says his family got the call from SDG&E on Tuesday night, warning of a potential shutoff.

"Honestly it is was, 'here we go again.' We just got done with this," said Skidmore.

Back in September, the Valley Fire decimated the 16-year-old farm known for sustainable farming. The Skidmores lost most of their crops and irrigation lines, along with 125 chickens.

The family had tried to get wildfire insurance but was denied, partly because the farm is in a wildfire-prone area. Their total loss was more than $250,000.

While several buildings were destroyed, seven others are still standing, including two homes. When the winds pick up, Skidmore will worry.

"There's flammable material on adjacent properties, and it could always come onto our property and burn what didn’t burn the first time," said Skidmore.

Skidmore spent Wednesday hand trimming brush near structures. He'll also be checking his backup power sources, in case the power is shut off. Without power, they can't pump water from their wells.

"We have three different generators. A big one for the main house and smaller ones for tools and outbuildings," said Skidmore.

With their power plans in place, Skidmore says they will settle in and brace for the wind.

"It's nerve-racking. The wind is so unpredictable," said Skidmore.

Since the fires, neighbors have volunteered for cleanups and donated chickens and supplies. Skidmore says they are optimistic about their rebuild if they can avoid any more fires.