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A former Steinbach resident who now lives near Ventura, California has narrowly escaped a massive wildfire that broke out Monday night. Dr. Edward Banman and his wife Jill live in the hills above Ventura. Son Karl says the fire narrowly missed his parents' home.

"Last night at about 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time, my parents started seeing flames on the hillside to the east of them. The fire spread very quickly and within a couple of hours they had been evacuated. The fire actually burned right up to the property line. My father has a 200-tree avocado orchard and the fire singed the trees on the outer edge of his property line."

He notes they had just irrigated the orchard two days ago which may have made the difference.

"They do so for about a 24-hour period and the leaves and the ground in the orchard were fortunately still quite damp, so that may have played a part in helping to keep their home from erupting into flames."

Banman adds his sisters, who live nearby, also narrowly escaped damage to their homes. But he notes a number of friends have lost homes in the wildfires.

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