How a community stepped up to tackle the California’s wildfires

Communities across California has suffered deeply as a result of a number of wildfires that occurred over the past couple of years. There were close to 9,000 wildfire incidents that were reported throughout 2017, burning 1.2 million acres of land across the state, which is an area the same size as the state of Delaware, and it caused the deaths of at least 46 individuals as well as destroying over 10,800 properties. In 2018, there have been over 6,000 more wildfires reported in California. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and National Interagency Fire Center, these wildfires burned more than 1.4 million acres of land and caused damages worth in excess of $2.56 billion.

Despite the countless devastations, a few people of California had carried out good deeds to help those in need and to highlight those who risked their lives to fight the fires. Global stair lift manufacturer, Acorn Stairlifts, reflect on some of the most heart-warming moments witnessed during the wildfires of 2017 and 2018…

The giving support for a couple who accidentally started a Northern California
The Carr Fire that took place close to the Northern city of Redding earlier this summer was amongst the most destructive fire to have ever hit the state – especially the most destructive encountered by the residents of Shasta County.

News had reported the incident begun on July 23rd as a result of a blown-out tire that caused a rim-riding trailer to scrape the road and the sparks ignited a bush nearby. After, Redding resident, Rachel Pilli, stepped up to offer support to the unnamed couple who were in the car at the time.

Rachel had written a sympathetic message in a card and met a firefighter when visiting The Gathering Church in the city who agreed to post it to the couple due to them being neighbors of his mother. From this, Ms Pilli went about attempting to collect more sympathetic messages from those she had on Facebook, with dozens of positive responses recorded in less than a day.

Ms Pilli had promoted the response on the Redding Searchlight in Redding stating that it was “an ocean of compassion, of love and grace” and she also expressed: “It’s the first time the Winnemem dancers came out of Winnemem territory.”

“The Pit River Feather Dancers did a dance for the animals, and prayer dances for the water. Then the Winnemem dancers did a fire and water dance; they did the war dance to give strength to the firefighters for this war — the war against fire.”

Appreciation for American Samoa and Hawaii firefighters
After the Carr Fire, 17 firefighters from American Samoa and four firefighters from Hawaii were shown appreciation for their efforts by the Redding residents.

Due to the fact that the 21 firefighters joined together to close the 170 North State Residents at Redding Rancheria’s cultural arbor during their time in the city, where they were made welcome with prayer, food, dancing, drumming and singing.

Brave man helps disabled roommate
Regarding the wildfire that took place in 2017, one man had displayed a remarkable feat of heroism when he saved his disabled roommate after a firestorm immersed the state’s North Bay around Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park where they were both based.

Ed Corn cares full time for Heidi Kulick, who is a paraplegic, and both of them got caught up in the firestorm which devasted their Santa Rosa Neighborhood. Explaining the initial moments of the situation to KTVU, Mr Corn said: “Everything burst into flames; all the bushes, all the trees…just went cobalt white and 12-foot balls of fire!”

Mr Corn had to take action after the firestorm gathered momentum, he wrapped Ms Kulick in wet blankets and towels before wheeling her and her cat across the street and towards a nearby park. Mr Corn then explained that they spent the next three and a half hours moving numerous times, taking care to dodge burning shingles, flying embers and even a moment when a car was hurled through the air by a fire tornado that had engulfed the park.

Despite that the fire had completely had surrounded them at one point,  Mr Corn had took the initiative that they would be safe In the park because her realised the grass there was well watered. When they were rescued, Mr Corn had suffered first- and second-degree burns to both his face and one of his arms. Fortunately, Ms Kulick escaped the firestorm unscathed.

Despite his heroic act, Mr Corn does not see himself as a hero though, telling KTVU: “I can’t go there because we all go on automatic. We kinda know what to do. Our instincts pop in.”

Safari West Wildlife Park’s owner’s act
Close by a few miles from Santa Rose, a wildlife park owner took his role and responsibilities to a new level when his site was ignited by the Wildfires during 2017.

The son of Hollywood Director Oscar Lang, Peter Lang displayed quick-thinking attributes from the moment advancing flamed that had been whipped by 50 mph El Diablo winds began to settle on his 400-acre estate, which contained a collection over a thousand animals.

Firstly, he had steered his wife, his employees and 30 overnight guests at the wild park away from the danger. Once they were safe, the wildlife park owner grabbed a garden hose he owned and started to battle the advancing flames to prevent them from reaching the site — snuffing out falling embers and coaxing animals, including giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs and rhinos, from one enclosure to the next to keep them away from harm.

Unfortunately, Mr Lang had lost his home less than a mile away from the park, but despite that, he told local media that he “did not lose a single animal”, before also stating: “I have a thousand souls I’m responsible for. It wasn’t even a decision. This is what I had to do.”

The heartwarming stories they we’ve covered occurred when California was hit by wildfires over the past couple of years. They showcase how people across the state go above and beyond to provide appreciated help to those who need it when weather conditions deteriorate.


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