David and Chris Lace were enjoying last weekend in the Denali area when word reached them that their remote home was in the path of a raging wildfire.
The longtime Alaskans, now retired, live in a house 17 miles south of Fairbanks on the Tanana River. Their first thought was, “This just can’t be.”
Of course, wildfire is their worst fear, and, over past decades, they had cut down trees and brush close to the house and did everything they could to prevent a fire getting near the structure, which is on the edge of a small lake. “We thought, ‘it’s a little fire, just a lightning strike,’” Chris Lace said. “Then we find out 70 guys are fighting the fire.”
They immediately drove north. Along the way, they contemplated what they would try to save from the home they have loved and worked on for more than 30 years.