FALLBROOK, Calif. -- More than 400 people packed into the Fallbrook Community Center Saturday night to get an update on the Lilac Fire and the recovery efforts.
People showed up to ask when they could get back into their homes, and for those who do not have a home to go back to wanted to know what is next for them.
The meeting started with fire officials explaining how they attacked the fast-moving fire from the ground with over 800 firefighters and from in the air.
“To date, we’ve dumped 92,380 gallons of retardant on the fire and we’ve dumped 230,254 gallons of water,” CAL Fire Commander Bret Gouvea said.
The crowd clapped after firefighters announced they are making progress on the Lilac Fire, but sighed when they were informed 182 structures have been destroyed, around 100 of those were homes.
Nataly Olvera said she and her family lost two homes and a car.
“It’s been dramatic. It’s something that we still lay at night in the shelter and we can’t believe this happened,” Olvera said.
Olvera said at the meeting she was happy to learn that the county said it will waive fees, like permit fees, for those looking to rebuild their homes.
Many people at the meeting voiced their anticipation about getting back to their homes.
CAL FIRE said lifting all evacuation orders is a top priority, but cannot let people into devastated areas until it is safe. Firefighters said they hope to lift orders within a couple days time.
Leaders from the local and state level worked to ensure people they will help them get back on their feet.
An assistance center will be opening Monday at 9 a.m. at the Vista Library.