Acts of Heroism and Generosity In Wake of California Wildfires
It seems like California burns every year, but 2017 was the most destructive wildfire season on record. Fires burned uncontained for weeks, and the smoke was visible from the International Space Station. Well over 500,000 acres burned to a crisp, destroying over 8,400 structures, causing over $1 billion in damage and, worst of all, killing more than 40 people.
Within this tragedy, however, there are stories of hope. Dozens of communities across California opened their homes to evacuees, and first responders worked around the clock for weeks. One set of firefighters made the news for their actions in Orville, California. A photograph went viral of the three brave men working to save an American flag from the encroaching wall of fire.
In a similar tale of selflessness, the Safari West wildlife preserve fought to save their animals that were threatened by the Tubbs Fire. The founder, Peter Lang, worked for hours keeping the flames away from the animals’ pens. At one point, he had to choose between saving his home or his animals. He did not even hesitate to choose his animals. All four of his homes, three barns and the lifetime collection he planned to donate to a museum burned, and many of the park’s buildings and cars were damaged. Despite the damage and danger, Safari West saved every one of its 1,000 animals.