Molly Sloan

FLAMES THAT SCORCHED COMMUNITY 10 YEARS AGO HAVE FORGED STRENGTH IN SURVIVORS, THOUGH SCARS REMAIN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos of anniversary event by Pam Wilmers and Miriam Raftery

October 27, 2013 (Lakeside) – “It started as a single flame in rugged, remote backcountry…The perfect alignment of extreme weather, fire weather and circumstances quickly transformed that flame into an enormously powerful and unstoppable force known as the Cedar Fire,” Lakeside firefighter Chuck Palmore said at yesterday’s 10-year anniversary of the Cedar Fire commemoration at the Lakeside Fire Station.  The Cedar Fire touched the lives of thousands of people, he noted. “A decade later, we gather together here today to reflect and reconnect, to share with each other our journey that has taken us from victim to survivor to thriver.”

The Cedar Fire remains the worst wildfire in California's history in size (280,278 acres, or 438 square miles), buildings destroyed (2,820, including over 2,200 homes), and people killed(15). Of those who lost homes, most have rebuilt or moved on.  But for the families of those who perished, the scars will forever remain. 

Molly Sloan lost her daughter, a granddaughter, and her daughter-in-law.  She and other family members came to this memorial service to display a photo montage in tribute to their loved ones’ memories.