Friday afternoon in Bear Valley Springs had a different feeling, one that many residents like Ellen Solum and April Woods had never experienced.
“We were scared, I mean you know you hear these things on the news and it happens to people you know. I have an acquaintance in Lake Isabella that had to evacuate her home. But you never really think it's going to happen to you,” said Solum.
“I live on Deer Trail, so we saw everyone coming down. We saw motorhomes and boats and truckloads with their animals in it,” said Woods.
And now as suggested evacuations have been lifted and crews continue to fight day and night, those same residents are now showing just how thankful they are.
“So grateful now that we get up here to see that our house is still here and our neighborhood is still here,” said Bear Valley Springs resident Craig Christenson.
“They've just really been on it, that's when I put the sign up. I'm like we've got to let them know,” said Wood.
“When you're in a service business, when someone says thank you. That is everything to you,” said Solum.
Something 18 year Cal Fire veteran David Pietrczak would agree with whole heartedly.
“You know, it's great to see the appreciation. It really gives you the little butterflies inside and really makes you feel good about what you do and backs up what we got into this job for,” said Pietrczak.
So whether it is simple or intricate, colorful or not, the message from all residents is the same.
“Because of the talent, the skill, the strategy they were able to save roughly 200 homes. And we're all very grateful,” said Christenson.
“You know we're really grateful. I mean I'm sleeping at night and they're risking their lives up there” said Wood.
“Fire Department, Sheriff's, Police they all combine their efforts. Stayed away from their families to help us out,” aid Bear Valley Springs resident Greg Cooper.
“To say thank you, I know what that means to have somebody say thank you and it means everything,” said Solum.