Modjeska and Silverado Canyons and the 2007 Santiago Fire


Janice R. Beasley

Canyon resident

OH 4139    
Narrator   Beasley, Janice R.
Interviewer   Volker Janssen
Date   June 28, 2008
Language   English
Location   Santiago Canyon, Orange County, California
Project    2007 Santiago Fire
Format(s)   Audio; Video
Other   Field Notes; Photographs
Abstract   An oral history with Janice Beasley, a life-time Orange County resident. 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 her life prior to the Santiago fire and her and her family's experiences during the blaze. The interview focuses on Janice Beasley's family's motivations to move into the canyon, growing up in Garden Grove, California, the benefits of living in the canyon compared to Orange County cities, the difference between Santiago and Modjeska Canyons; previous experiences with wildfires and floods; life with horses in the countryside; finding and refurbishing a home in Santiago Canyon; the problems with creating defensible space; meeting the canyon community in the wake of the fire; Santiago fire: from wait-and-see to full evacuation; animal evacuation; coping with loss; a close-call the first time around; watching her house burn on TV; the generosity of friends and neighbors; tearing down the last remains; reviewing the fire fighting operations; preparing for the next fire; rebuilding; gratitude towards the Inter-Canyon League and the Kane Foundation; experiences with fire insurance and disappointments with FEMA; life in a trailer since the fire.




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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.