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Evacuees return home after Los Encinos Fire

Posted at 11:18 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 02:18:42-04

People that were evacuated as a result of the Los Encinos Fire got the green light to go home Wednesday evening -- and to many, it was a sigh of relief. Though they returned home to blackened, burned properties, the majority of people's homes were okay. But not everyone was that lucky -- as a number of homes did burn because of the fire.

Fire officials confirmed at least 4 buildings burned as a result of the fire -- which was 60% contained as of Wednesday night -- and 3 more could be damaged as well.

Ann Audrey's home was not burned. She explained that firefighters told her over the phone that they remember her home, and did what they could to protect it. 

"The fire station called all the homeowners who's contact information they had right away this morning and said, 'there's a fire, your house is okay. Or maybe, your house is not okay,'" Audrey said.

Sonoita-Elgin Fire District Chief Joseph DeWolf said 155 homes were in the fire area and it could have been a lot worse. 

"As far as the homes that are left standing, we have a community that is firewise and taking care of their homes. And this proved it right here," DeWolf said.

Audrey believes her home is still standing because she is firewise, has enough defensible space -- and a bit of luck, too. 

"Don't be afraid to sacrifice a few shrubs and trees, to keep your big trees and your house," Audrey said.