Boulder View Fire: Residents return home as firefighters get a handle on the wildfire

The Boulder View Fire continues to burn into the start of July but is easing up, allowing residents back into their homes.

Flames were just feet away from homes that residents were forced to flee from. The charred ground shows just how close families were to losing their homes.

While residents are thankful their homes survived this battle, they know it might not be the last time they'll evacuate.

"This was by far the closest call we’ve ever had," John Hornewer said, owner of Rio Verde Potable Water Hauling.

Unlike most of his neighbors, he didn’t evacuate.

As of July 1, the fire has burned more than 3,700 acres and is 80% contained. Recent rain has helped suppression efforts, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said.

"All night long we were watching because if the wind changed, it would have been all hands on deck. It was crazy," Hornewer said.

He couldn’t be more thankful for the fire crews that stopped the fire which was inches away from his neighborhood.

"It would have been catastrophic," he said. "So my hats off to these guys that stayed on it and put it out. It was brutal."

Animals have arrived back to their homes, too.

Terry Holmes-Stecyk of Tender Little Hearts Mini Tales and Equine Assisted Services now has her animals back where they belong.

"It’s just really a relief because it’s really stressful for these guys to be moved," she said.

She evacuated as the flames neared her home on June 27 – the very day the fire ignited.

"The wind shifted and we look out and see flames," she recalled. "We go ‘Oh gosh, this is not good.’"

Thankfully, there is no damage between these two homeowners, and all are safe.


Boulder View Fire: Evacuations downgraded for wildfire burning near Scottsdale

Evacuations have been downgraded as crews continue to battle a fire that burns north of Scottsdale.

Both Hornewer and Holmes-Stecyk say nothing is burned to the west of their homes and that they'll remain vigilant this fire season.

The fire sparked at around 3 p.m. on June 27 near the Boulder Heights community. The fire rapidly grew to an estimated 500 acres, nearly one hour after it had reportedly started.