There are still emotional stories being shared by area residents from the Princeton wildfire of 2017.
For Highway 5A rancher Gary Miller, it was all about the cows. Miller’s wife and daughter were evacuated just hours after the fire sparked, and when he returned to Princeton from his job as a longshoreman on the coast, he was unable to get past the barricades to check on his herd of ten cattle. His cows graze on the mountain, so animal rescue workers could not find them. He told The Spotlight the situation was increasingly stressful as he tried various means of getting to his property and was frustrated that some of his neighbors seemed to have access. “I admit it, I lost it,” he said.
Miller’s biggest concern was his 26-year-old cow Hopey, who he described as “part of the family.” Upon finally returning to his home after more than two weeks he was relieved and grateful to find the entire herd, looked after by Hopey, alive and well. They celebrated with a hug.