"The Flames were coming. There was no time at all. You had minutes to get out of your house,” says Tom Ward, a Rockport Ranch resident who was forced to evacuate.Ward says he had to act fast, but once he knew his family was safe he grabbed a few items and got out.
“The fuels and the temperatures and the relative humidity and the Fuels were very dry,” says Jennifer Hansen the spokesperson for the Rockport Fire. Fuels like gambrel oak, brush and aspen combined is what made it so challenging for firefighters to control the blaze and keep it from spreading. “The majority of it is oak brush, which you can see up on the side of the hill there and that's probably the most dangerous material for the firefighters to be working with because it behaves erratically," says Kevin Callahan the Summit County Emergency Manager.
So erratic flames took over a dozen homes and threatened hundreds more and weather conditions like wind made it nearly impossible for firefighters to control.
Ward says seeing the flames spread and water being dropped so close to his home made it difficult to watch- but he's grateful for the fire fighters relentless efforts. "You just get this sense of oh my gosh, oh my gosh there is a fire that is going to take out my house. You want to watch and see what happens but at the same time you know you don't have a huge fire hose to stop it,” says Ward.