Wildfires burning across the state of California have forced West Coast driver Jeremy Doss to evacuate his Upper Lake home and race shop.
The “Ranch” fire, one of the 17 active wildfires causing statewide evacuations, has reached over 35 thousand acres and is now burning dangerously close to Doss’ hometown.
“It’s honestly nothing like I’ve ever seen before,” Doss told Speed51.com. “It’s like a scene from a movie, like Armageddon or something. It’s really smoky, hard to breathe and the sun is bright red. It’s hard to explain.”
Doss and his family were forced to load up as much of their racing equipment as possible and relocate it several miles down the road to Robinson Rancheria, a local casino.
“At that point, we moved all of our race car stuff down the road to a parking lot where it should be safer” Doss said. “You can’t insure race cars, so we did the best we could to get all of it as safe as possible.”
Currently the fire is five percent contained, a number that still leaves Doss’ equipment at serious risk of being destroyed. Doss won’t be able to move the equipment again until the evacuation order is lifted.
“Hopefully when we’re able to go back in, it’s all still there,” Doss said. “If it does burn the race cars, I’m sure it’s going to put us in the hole. We don’t really have the money to rebuild a lifetime’s worth of stuff.”
Due to a lack of vacancy in nearby towns, Doss will be staying at hotels in Santa Rosa and Vallejo until it’s safe to return home.
Thus far in 2018, Doss has enjoyed a successful season that includes a pair of SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series victories, a win in the prestigious Montana 200 and a Super Late Model win at Evergreen Speedway (WA).
Doss currently leads the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series point standings with five of the nine scheduled races completed. The next race on the SRL schedule is slated for Saturday, August 18 at Stockton Speedway (CA).
Doss is also scheduled to compete in the Speed51 Super Select Super Late Model All-Star race at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) on September 8. At this time, he is uncertain if the evacuation will impact his racing schedule.
“It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen at the moment,” Doss said. “I think they were saying the estimated timeline for containment is next Monday. We’re just praying for the best.”
-By Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Gulf Coast Editor
-Photo credit: Jeremy Doss (Facebook)