The effects of the Cranston Fire are having far-reaching consequences to the surrounding communities, Anza Valley was left with no power as flames damaged power lines, and while some in the community have been able to stay afloat with the help of generator and aid from emergency crews, the resources are running low.
The flames did not touch Anza Valley, but the fire had a domino effect within the community. A power outage from flames scorching Southern California Edison infrastructure left the mountain community without power for days, and since many depend on wells powered by electricity, the lack of power means no water.
Elizabeth Nagy lives in Anza Valley and she has been relying on a generator for power.
Nagy said, “The power lines have been destroyed, we’ve been told that it could be up to two to three weeks before we have power.”
Nagy was one of many volunteers at the local community hall. Dozens of Anza Valley residents gathered at the community hall to cool off or pick-up food and water.
Amanda Gardner has also been affected by the lack of water.
Gardner said, “We have livestock to feed, dishes to clean, food to eat, our food has gone bad, it’s just very, very difficult.”
It is a difficult time for Gardner, but she felt compelled to support her neighbors, so she collected hundred of clothing items to give out.
Gardner said, “I have been traveling up the hill, down the hill, up the hill and we have donations of toys, clothes, pillows, blankets, towels, hygiene stuff and we’re just giving it away for free.”
Even though Hamilton High School in Anza Valley is the official emergency shelter, emergency personnel have reacted quickly to bring aid to where the community gathers. A truck full of ice was empty as soon as it arrived to the community hall.
Eric Cadden with the Riverside County Emergency Management Department said it is all a reminder to always be prepared for an emergency.
“Resources are going to be scarce, we’ve already seen scarce resources because of all the different fires here,” Cadden said. “But when we have that catastrophic event of an earthquake you need to have at least a week’s worth of water have extra food, have extra medications, be prepared for that disaster.”
The community of Anza Valley reminds the community to check on relatives who may live in areas affected by the Cranston Fire and power outages as the summer high temperatures can be deadly.