SAN JACINTO – A San Jacinto man stood watching the fast-moving Horseshoe Fire on Saturday evening, fearing how it might all end.

In the distance he saw a little cross, which he said has been a sight of peace and comfort for his family over this past year.

“We watched as fire surrounded it, the lights flickered, and then (it was) gone” Michael Boehnlein told Uken Report. “We were so saddened to lose this beautiful cross. This morning, as the sun came up, we saw it!! It still stands, every inch of ground around it is scorched, but it’s still standing. It’s a good day.”

Eyewitness to Horseshoe Fire Speaks Out

Photo courtesy of Michael Boehnlein

Dawn cast  a light of hope and renewal on what had been a harrowing night.

“Honestly it was pretty amazing, the fire just took off, and was spreading so fast,” Michael Boehnlein told Uken Report. “We thought for sure we would lose our home, and everything we have. Then, out of nowhere, CalFIRE helicopter units came right over our heads, hovering over the water in front of our home. I mean, the thumping of the rotor blades shook us, and water was kicked up, spraying our faces.”

Boehnlein added, “That was the first time we knew we would be alright…I mean, they sprang out of nowhere, soon there were two, and they were nonstop picking up water, and dropping on the fire in front of us. It was intense.”

Boehnlein picked up his phone and started documenting.

Firefighters on Sunday continued to fight the Horseshoe Fire, a brush fire that ignited in the Juniper Flats area between Perris and San Jacinto, about 52 miles west of Palm Springs.

The blaze has spread to 200 acres and was 10% contained, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department officials.

Evacuations are in place in San Jacinto near the intersection of Cottonwood Avenue and Warren Road.  Homes to the west of Warren Road and south of Mulberry Street are under a mandatory evacuation.

A makeshift care center has been established at Tahquitz High School, 4425 Titan Trail, Hemet.

Eyewitness to Horseshoe Fire Speaks Out

Photo courtesy of Michael Boehnlein

The fire was reported shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday in the 21000 block of Horseshoe Trail, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The blaze was initially reported to be 10 acres, but in about 40 minutes grew 75 acres, then to 100 acres, and then 200 acres.

More than 200 firefighters were on scene to fight the fire. Two air tankers and one helicopter were also on scene.

Photosand video courtesy of Michael Boehnlein.

Image Sources

  • Cross in Daylight: MIchael Boehnlein
  • Horseshoe Fire: Michael Boehlein