SMU’s California Residents Feel the Effects of the California Wildfires

The semester is wrapping up and Christamas break is right around the corner. For many SMU students, this means heading home for the holidays, but for a number of SMU’s California residents, this may not be an option.

Major wildfires are tearing through Northern and Southern California. The “Woolsey” fire blazes outside Los Angeles and the “Camp Fire” in Butte County threatens Sacramento. Combined, they’ve cause massive destruction. SMU senior Molly Agapiou lives in Oak Park, California where thousands of acres of lands are now scorched.

“As soon as I saw that video that my mom sent me of the flames coming up over the hill I thought…ok that’s it. So, I went to sleep Thursday thinking my house has burned down,” Agapiou said. “Our house ended up being okay, 6 houses in the neighborhood burned down.”

Agapio and her family avoided the worst, but others were not so lucky. SMU Junior Sienna Dugan lives in Malibu. She lost her home this past week.

“My dad’s house ended being burnt down on Saturday evening our barn burnt down, we didn’t know where our horses were…” Dugan said. “Our entire storage unit burnt down…there’s really nothing left to go thorough in terms of going through the rubble.”

Dugan is confidant the community will rebuild, but she knows it will be a long time before Malibu feels like home.

“Knowing how long it takes to get plans and permits to rebuild one house…but to rebuild an entire community…I’m just scared that the people that make the town so special aren’t gonna be able to stay there anymore,” she said.