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Penn State Student’s Home Destroyed in California Wildfires

by on October 19, 2017 5:00 AM

The wildfires in California this month that have killed 42 people have also claimed thousands of homes, including that of a Penn State junior.

Sara Gruber's family was forced to evacuate their Santa Rosa home in the middle of the night as the fires spread rapidly through Sonoma County.

"They were driving through fire basically," Gruber said. "They finally drove down the mountain, tried to get on the highway, but the highway was completely backed up. Cars were in reverse driving off of it backwards to be able to get away because the fire was crossing the highway."

Better weather conditions have helped firefighters make headway, but the damage will last for years.

Centre County Report's Michelle Backus talked with Gruber, as well as Alan Taylor, a Penn State Department of Geography researcher who studies fires, about the unusual speed with which the wildfires spread.

This video is produced by and for Centre County Report and shared through a partnership with 

The Centre County Report is produced by students and faculty from Penn State's College of Communications. It is designed to serve a dual purpose. It is a source of news and information to the residents of Centre County.
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