A Taiwanese-American family is in shock after the wildfire that devastated northern San Diego completely burned down their property including their house and aviary, which was home to 10,000 exotic birds, three vehicles, personal belongings and bird supplies.
After a 10-day battle, California authorities have contained the wildfire — dubbed as Lilac Fire — which swept the 4,100 acres of Bonsall County, NBC San Diego reported.
The wildfire obliterated 157 structures and damaged 64 others in the affected area, including the land owned by the Yang family, who first immigrated to the United States in the 1980s, Taiwan News reported.
According to the owner’s daughter, Jenni Southwell, the property is one of the country’s largest commercial finch breeding company.
The Yang family built a small aviary in 1981, raising many breeds of birds in their enclosure, and selling wholesale to pet stores. Some of the exotic birds they raised include finches, canaries, lady gouldians, cockatiels and parakeets.
Southwell was with her brother, who was working when the fire broke out in West Lilac, according to ABC10 News. Unfortunately, he did not have enough time to open up all the cages of several aviaries.
Some of the birds may have escaped the horrific incident, but Southwell thinks that nearly all of them died in the fire.
“I haven’t been able to sleep all week. Was this really real? Did this really happen?” Southwell said.
Both of Southwell’s parents were in Taiwan when the wildfire hit the area. Her mother, who survived breast cancer two years ago and is now in remission, was in the country for her post-remission treatment.
The Yang family is now seeking donations through GoFundMe in the hopes of rebuilding their burned down aviary as well as their home.
“My mother survived breast cancer 2 years ago, was already struggling to pay medical bills associated with her treatments and this overwhelming process of rebuilding their lives, home, and farm will be a costly journey. They are in need of a vehicle and the funds to rebuild their home and bird farm,” the post read.
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