LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A ranch belonging to “Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki has burned down in a California wildfire but the actor said living in the area was worth it despite the risk of fires.
Galecki, 42, who plays nerdy experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter in the hit TV comedy series, was not at home on Monday when the brush fire consumed his ranch in countryside near San Luis Obispo in central California.
The fast-moving fire scorched some 1,600 acres (650 hectares) and forced about 250 people to evacuate their homes. Three structures were destroyed, San Luis Obispo fire officials said on Tuesday.
“My heart goes out to all in the area who are also experiencing loss from this vicious fire, the threat of which we live with constantly, which may seem crazy to some but we do so because living in our beautiful, rural area makes it worthwhile,” Galecki said in a statement.
“So very relieved no one has been hurt,” he added.
Galecki, who is among the highest-paid stars on television, thanked fire fighters, praised the local community and said that he planned to rebuild. “We’ve done it before and we will need to do it together again, ” he said.
California’s hot dry summer season leaves the state subject to thousands of wildfires in rural areas every year, prompting debate over the encroachment of homes deeper into hilly fire-prone areas and how to protect them.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Dan Grebler)