Modjeska and Silverado Canyons and the 2007 Santiago Fire


Canyon residents

Diane and James Carter

OH 4142  
Narrators Diane and James Carter
Interviewer Volker Janssen
Date July 12, 2008
Language ENglish
Location Modjeska Canyon, Orange County, California
Project 2007 Santiago Fire
Format(s) Audio; Video
Other Field Notes
Abstract An oral history with Diane and James Carter of Modjeska Canyon, both long-time residents of Orange County, California. This interview was conducted for the Center for Oral and Public History and Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary about the Santiago Fire in Modjeska Canyon in October 2007. The purpose of this interview was to gather information about the Carters' personal experiences in the natural environment and rural community of Modjeska, the loss of their home in October 2007, and their efforts at rebuilding their home and life since then. The interview addresses Jim Carter's business experiences in Orange County and with a Mexican maquiladora, Diane Carter's religious upbringing in Thousand Oaks, California; the architecture and construction of their geodesic dome house; the diversity of canyon people; their quick involvement in the Modjeska Residents Association, the county's operation of Modjeska home; their volunteer work for fire safety; James' role on the Irvine Ranch Water District Board, opposition to development in canyon and growing traffic in Santiago Canyon; keeping animals in the Canyon; "flatlanders" visiting the canyon; late summer tarantula migration; getting kids to high school; their home's fire safety and role as lookout; evacuation of people and horses, llamas; the fire department's response; the fire; community self-help in the face of loss; plans for the new home; the lack of fire-fighting resources; and the support they received from the community.
Video Parts 1-3 (watch online - coming soon!)
Audio Part 1 (download.mp3)
Part 2 (download.mp3)

This project is made possible, in part, by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities. The Council is an independent non-profit organization and a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information on the Council, visit www.calhum.org.