SIU Student Watches Fires Near California Home

SIU Student Watches Fires Near California Home
By: Carly O'Keefe

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University senior Suzanne Haflich says she's tried not to watch the news for the past week because the video of flames spreading across southern California hits her very close to home.
"It's really scary just thinking about being so far away and having no idea what's going on.  Not getting a phone call every day from my mom makes me nervous now because I have no idea what's going on because I'm so far away.  All I see is news and newspapers," said Haflich.
Haflich's aunt, uncle, and grandmother had to leave their homes over the weekend because of the wildfires.  They're currently staying with Haflich's parents in a San Diego suburb.  The family is not sure how long they'll be able to stay as Haflich's childhood home sits no more than a mile or two from where thousands have already been forced to evacuate.
"As of right now I think my house is okay because the wind is blowing the fire west and they said within the next couple of days they hope to have it contained," Haflich said.
Suzanne remembers when she was a senior in high school and huge wildfires burnt near San Diego.
"There was fire in the sky.  You couldn't walk outside.  It was nuts," said Haflich.
But she says, those fires were nowhere near as close to her home as those burning now.  She fears when she returns to California for Thanksgiving break, her hometown may look a lot different.
"It'll be rough seeing my beautiful San Diego all black and tarnished," said Haflich.