Pine Nut families who lost homes seek help |

Pine Nut families who lost homes seek help

The devastation from the Numbers Fire on the late Douglas County District Judge Norm Robison's property next door to the Sierra Spirit Ranch on July 9.
Craig Robison/Special to The R-C

Pine Nut resident Jacob Waymire said his family has undergone some hardships but losing their home in the piñons last week was one of the worst.

Waymire said the property has been in his wife’s family for a third of a century where Juanita Dudoit-Bowen’s father built the home by hand.

The couple had lived on the property for a decade with their four children.

He said he saw the Numbers Fire coming, and knew it was going to be bad.

“I knew it was coming,” he said. “Just the way it was moving was crazy. It was just like it was burning gasoline with 70-80-foot flames.”

Waymire said his family has been fortunate when it came to previous fires, including the 2013 Bison Fire and the subsequent flooding on Pinenut Creek.

“I went up there on Wednesday,” he said. “There was another cabin up above ours and as far as you can see it’s total devastation. It wiped out the whole mountain, along with people who’ve lived up there for many, many years.”

Waymire said his home wasn’t insured and that the family has been rendered homeless, but he’s working on that, including starting a new job on Monday.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get into a new place,” he said.

Waymire and his wife have been married 22 years. They lost Dudoit-Bowen’s father in 2009.

The family has a page set up and Intero Real Estate in Gardnerville is collecting gift cards for them at 1362 Main St., Suite 112.

The family is one of several who’ve lost their homes as a result of the fire which raged across the Pine Nuts beginning July 6 and continued to burn over the next two days.

“It was one of the only places left to burn up there,” Waymire said.

Fundraisers have also been set up for Abe Lesiuk and his two children and Steve Straubinger.

According to Straubinger’s son, Ryan, he was forced to evacuate as he saw the flames approaching and had to flee with just the clothes on his back. Ryan Straubinger said he lost his home in the Angora Fire 13 years ago.

Washoe Tribal member Lehua Sobrero said that three of her family’s homes on Washoe Allotment land were lost in the fire, according to that gofundme page.

She said her Aunt Nellie and Uncle George lived seven miles up the road and were evacuated.

“Due to their homes being on indigenous lands they were unable to qualify for homeowners insurance,” she said.

On Thursday, Firefighters responded to at least two reports of new fires in the Numbers Fire burn area that turned out to be blowing dust.

A Wildfire Alert camera at the Ridge Tahoe showed clouds of ash rising off the fire site around the same time Minden-Tahoe Airport recorded a 49 mph at 3:55 p.m.

Several callers reported a smoke plume in the Pine Nuts around 1 p.m. Thursday that was determined to be a large ash devil whirling across the burned area in the Pine Nut Mountains.

Thursday’s lightning storm resulted in several strikes in Alpine County, setting a small fire in Hope Valley, which was stopped at a tenth-acre, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center.