BONSALL, Calif. – One week after the Lilac Fire ripped through Bonsall destroying 4,100 acres many communities are now rebuilding, including a nursery.
Two homes on the property of Rainforest Flora Nursery along West Lilac Road were completely charred. The families that lived there were caretakers and lost everything they owned.
“Right about here was the front entrance and as soon as you go in was my room,” said Cynthia Olvera, as she walked through the rubble.
Olvera has lived on the property of Rainforest Flora Nursery for four years with her parents and siblings. Both her parents work at the nursery and their livelihood depends on it. The flames tore through over 8 acres on the property destroying everything in its path.
“The day after we snuck through private roads just to get in and we just were standing there watching everything and we were in tears it was really hard,” said Olvera.
The two homes sat just above the nursery’s hillside and when the flames came they traveled quickly leaving the family no time to grab their possessions. They later found a few personal items among the ashes.
“My dad found a necklace my grandma had given him. It was charred and gross, but he found it. We found my sister’s wedding ring, but the band had melted. We found little pieces of diamond, that’s it,” said Olvera.
As for the nursery, the business alone took over 40 years to build and had at least 4 million plants within the bromeliad family. The nursery also provided jobs for 30 people.
For those who lived there full time, it’s even more painful to have no home. The owners of the nursery are working to get two livable trailers on the property for a few months until they can rebuild.
“We try to be really positive about everything, but you know it makes me sad being here,” said Olvera.