SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Property owners are starting to assess the effects of the Alisal Fire, but some have lost where they feel safest: their home.
For Landon and Mariah Smith, residents of Gaviota, they lost their Refugio Road home during the Alisal Fire.
The couple are parents to Ally and Sage, young girls who are in second grade and preschool, respectively.
According to a family friend, Mariah evacuated with Sage through the freeway that was raging with flames on both ends and a window cracked from the tense heat.
It was a split decision for the family, who had to decide on whether to save their home or Landon's mother's home, which is also in Gaviota.
They chose his mother's and had no time to make it to their Refugio home.
The Refugio home was destroyed, along with a yurt, solar panels and water tanks.
Their fire insurance policy had also dropped due to the Thomas Fire and the location of their property on the side of a Santa Barbara County mountain.
The family is currently staying with friends and family as they plan their next steps.
A family friend started a GoFundMe page for the Smiths to help them recover financially from the loss. You can donate to their cause here.