Journalist and Ramona resident Sandra Millers Younger tells her story of surviving the 2003 Cedar fire in her recently released “The Fire Outside My Window.” She will sign copies of the book in Unicorn Books and Gifts on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Unicorn owners Stacy Bart and Julia Dammeir will mark the 10th anniversary of the devastating wildfire by hosting the book signing and talk in their Old Town Ramona bookstore at 738 Main St. at 4 p.m.
The Cedar fire ravaged the San Diego area, burning nearly 280,000 acres, destroying approximately 2,200 homes and hundreds of other buildings, and killing 15 people.
Leaving her doomed home the night of the catastrophe, Younger drove through flames, and with her husband was saved by a bobcat that showed her the road she couldn’t see through dense smoke. With her narrative of the largest fire in California’s recorded history, she takes readers into the heart of an epic firefight, telling the stories of fire managers and air tanker pilots trying to combat a catastrophe bigger than they had ever imagined, and recounting survivors’ and victims’ desperate efforts to escape flames moving faster than fire engines could drive.
An award-winning magazine journalist, Younger’s writing credits range from academic journals to Seventeen. She holds journalism degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Syracuse University, and lives in Wildcat Canyon, the area worst hit by the fire.
Described as a riveting tale that captures the intensity of a runaway wildfire, “The Fire Outside My Window” shares the author’s experience and her interviews with firefighters, survivors and the families of those who died.
“Timing, location and weather conspired against air tankers, fire engines and bulldozers, enabling a lost hunter’s
signal fire to gather strength in the mountains east of San Diego,” the author’s website states. “Overnight, a swelling wind sent flames galloping toward the Pacific, killing 15 people, 12 of them my neighbors...and creating a lunarscape 20 times the size of Manhattan.”
Unicorn Books and Gifts, an independent bookstore that opened in 2011, sells new and used books, gifts, jewelry, crystals, candles, fine artists works and pottery, and new age items. The shop hosts events for book lovers and has a schedule of tarot card readers and psychics. More information is at www.unicornbooksandgifts.com.