Firefighter’s family loses cabin to Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire

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SAPELLO, N.M. – Zeke Rivera and his family are now watching their homelands go up in flames, as the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires push east.

Two weeks ago the family’s land was destroyed, and the fire took out their cabin and barn, but to the Rivera family, the structures represent much more.

"My great uncle passed away last year and he was the one living on the property and we lost everything that he had, everything that he owned was at the home. You know we had pictures in there, many memories from my grandmother and my grandfather," Zeke said.

A lot of their family history went up in flames.

Zeke, a volunteer firefighter for Cochiti Lake, said he didn’t expect the fire to reach Sapello, where the cabin was. He said his family has lived in the area for almost 200 years, and they’re no stranger to wildfires or how unpredictable they can be.

With a deep family history of firefighting, Zeke said unfortunately, structure loss just comes with wildfires.

"Well I mean that’s just how it goes sometimes, nature is nature we can’t control it," he said about losing the cabin.

Luckily, no one was in the cabin at the time it was destroyed, and the rest of Zeke’s family is out of immediate danger from the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires.