Missing Virgin River? 3 reasons to watch throwback favorite Wildfire on Netflix

Virgin River fans, welcome to Raintree Farm!
ABC Family 25 Days Of Christmas Winter Wonderland Event
ABC Family 25 Days Of Christmas Winter Wonderland Event / Andrew H. Walker/GettyImages

Look, with Virgin River season 6 not premiering on Netflix until 2025, fans of the streamer's hit romantic drama series need something to watch. There's a new season of Heartland coming in June 2024, but if you're looking for something a little extra to hold you over through the summer, Netflix just gave us a beautiful gift in the form of the throwback series Wildfire.

The drama series premiered on ABC Family — yes, the pre-Freeform days! — back in 2005 and rans for four seasons through 2008. Genevieve Padalecki starred as troubled teen Kris Furillo, a jockey with a talent for horse racing who leaves a correctional facility and lands on Raintree Farm. Suddenly, she's thrust into a whole new world and given a second chance.

Wildfire shares its title with the horse Kris forms a tight bond with as the unlikely duo become not only a breath of fresh air for Raintree Farm and its central families but their saving grace, too. If you're a Virgin River fan looking for a quick binge-watch with similar drama, themes, and of course romances, here are three reasons why Wildfire should be at the top of your Netflix watch list.


One of the prevailing themes of Virgin River is that of family, whether it's family by blood, chosen family, or found family. Mel arrives in town as a newcomer with secrets looking for a fresh start. Little did she know, she walked right into a community ready to welcome her with open arms. That's not unlike what Kris experiences in Wildfire.

However, since Kris is younger and more rebellious than Mel, she's a bit more resistant to the welcoming she receives from the Ritter family. It takes some time for her to settle in, and that's understandable. But even with the show's overriding theme of family, there's still the soapy drama element, including Kris' rivalry with Dani, that will keep you hooked on every single episode.


Speaking of drama, what's better to spark twists and turns than some romance? Naturally, Kris' arrival at Raintree puts in her close quarters with both Matt and Junior, resulting in something of a love triangle. If you watched the show back when it was airing in the mid-aughts, then you definitely prefer one of the guys over the other for Kris, but maybe your opinion will change now.

By the end of the series, Kris does end up with either Matt or Junior, but there are no spoilers here for those who haven't watched. You will just have to tune in on Netflix and find out for yourself! Beyond the relationship drama Kris gets herself into with the handsome ranch boys, there's plenty of other romances going on through out the series to invest every viewer, just like with Virgin River.


More than anything, the nostalgia factor will be a huge draw for Wildfire on Netflix. There's a nostalgic air in Virgin River, though perhaps more for a feeling than a specific time period. For those of us who watched the show on ABC Family as teens or young adults, the nostalgia will be strong. The music, the fashion, the overall feeling of how ABC Family shows used to be. It's all there in a four-season package with 52 episodes straight from our formative years.

Although if the nostalgia isn't there for you in the same way, it's still worth tuning in for the blast from the past. The series features guest starring roles from the likes of Academy Award nominee Amanda Seyfried, Arrow star David Ramsey, Felicity and Power Rangers alum Amy Jo Johnson, and The Rookie favorite Eric Winter. Katy Perry even appeared in an episode performing her self-written hit single "Thinking of You." Get into the mid to late-2000s spirit!

Watch Wildfire seasons 1-4 on Netflix.

Next. 10 things nobody wants to admit about Virgin River. 10 things nobody wants to admit about Virgin River. dark