Despite Fire Evacuation Orders, Some Residents Stay Behind
MOUNTAIN CENTER - Idyllwild along Highway 243 is a veritable ghost town. The city of Idyllwild and surrounding areas are still under evacuation orders because of the Mountain Center Fire but not everyone is feeling the threat; at least not as of right now. "I just feel comfortable, the fire station is across the street. I go there two, three times a day and I’m aware of my surroundings,” says Mountain Center resident Bonnie Kreizinger. “I wanted to stay behind to make sure everything was OK. My wife went to San Diego but I stayed to watch out for things,” says Mountain Center resident Doug Berthelotte.
Kreizinger can see the smoke plumes from her house and lives down the road from a mandatory evacuation area—the Trail’s End community on North Morris Ranch Road. One element does make her nervous and that's the wind which began blowing her way shortly before our interview. "About 30 minutes ago, it started blowing so I was going to go down to the fire station and ask some questions,” says Kreizinger. She's lived in Mountain Center off Highway 74 for 30 years and says she has a plan in place. "I'm going to take my sewing machine, my computer and my purse and I could be out of here in ten minutes," says Kreizinger.
While officials aren't telling her she must leave, she's keeping an open ear. "Whoever has the horn and the microphone, you know the fire station or the sheriff, and they tell me to leave, I’m not going to question that," says Kreizinger. She’s not the only one with a plan. “I’ve got my truck backed up to the front porch with everything in it. I could be out of here in five minutes,” says Berthelotte.