By Darrell Todd Maurina
As Wayne Palla saw thick smoke rising over his two-story house north of Clovis, he gathered up his tools and went out along with other neighbors to help the firefighters.
“Everybody really chipped in,” Palla said. “I think that’s one of the benefits of living in a rural community — everybody is used to chipping in and helping each other when times are bad. When there is a crisis, everyone drops everything to help.”
Palla said he’s in the process of buying the land on which the fire started but isn’t yet the owner.
While Palla’s house could have been threatened by a wind change, other neighbors were at even greater risk. Palla and his wife turned on their sprinklers to help guard against stray sparks, but on Saturday another nearby family had to evacuate a home in the path of the fire.
Battalion Chief Kevin Crouch of the Clovis Fire Department said Curry County Sheriff’s deputies helped the family evacuate their home and remove possessions. That family couldn’t be reached for comment but Crouch said neither their home or any other structures were damaged by either the Friday or Saturday blaze.