Today, I finally get to go back home. After more than a month here on the fire lines in a Northern California, I am very happy to be going home. The first picture is what we wore while searching burned out buildings for bodies. The other pictures are of our mobile kitchen that feed us every night. When out in the field, businesses would come out and feed us, many pizza places came and fed us. The last day, one of the residents who was lost everything but his grill, brought his bbq grill out and fed us all. That was probably the best chicken I have ever had. It is times like this that makes you tear up, because you realize that even though they lost everything, they are willing to give you what little they have. Please don’t forget about these people. Please continue to pray for them.
You would be surprised at the amount of animals that have come up to us. We are still here in Paradise, CA. We have been going through the thousands of homes looking for bodies. They estimated 9,000 homes were lost. So, far 71 people have died and over 1000 are missing. The last 3 pictures are before and after. I didn’t want to put those first, because there are already too many pictures like that. I think the animals that survived are much better first picture. Next week they are predicting rain, which will be a welcome sight, but the heavy rain predicted for next weekend could be even more devastating. Keep these people in your prayers.
Northern California fire. This was taken a few hours ago, but because of the thick black smoke, it seems like night time. Looks pretty scary right? Currently there are a couple hundred people sheltering inside a Kmart. Reports are that most of the city of Paradise is gone. McDonalds burned down, Feather River hospital burned. This fire is currently at 25,000 acres and hasn’t even been 12 hours since it started. This fire is being pushed by high winds and is very erratic. Currently there are 7 major fires burning. So. Cal has 3 major fires burning. One will probably hit the ocean tonight. Heard of a new start near the CA/Oregon border.
Watching the birth of a tornado in South Dakota. It went from a stovepipe shaped tornado into a full wedge tornado. The first few frames we are behind it, you can see we got pretty close to it. The last picture is when it had strengthened into a major tornado, so we were in front of it. At that point the tornado was probably 1/2 a mile to a mile wide. That day I saw 5 tornadoes. 22 tornadoes in one day is still the record.
9 beef patties, 9 slices of cheese, tomato, lettuce and onion to make it healthy.
Tornado is forming. Should I get closer?
Spent the day out on the water. That whale came right up to the boat and waved.
These are going all be poured tonight. One of these bottles is over $10,000. I am going to make sure I get seconds or even thirds of that bottle.
Going to do a little ocean kayaking today.
Might be our last good meal for awhile. It is raining here in Santa Barbara, but the heavy stuff is still offshore.
As you can see in these pictures, you have huge boulders the size of a 3 story house, concrete foundations, smashed up cars, former houses and other buildings, furniture, mud and dirt, and a massive amount of boulders. Most boulders are about the size of a VW Beetle. Also in all this debris are 2 people they still haven’t found.
Here we are almost 2 months after the mudflows in Montecito. This house was totally flooded and filled with mud and still has mud inside it. The red X you see on the outside near the door, is used by search teams to show others that the house has been searched. The top is the date, left part of the X is the team that search. The bottom is the live and dead victims found inside. The right side are any hazards found. The problem that this whole area is dealing with, is where to put all this mud, debris and huge boulders.
101 freeway in Santa Barbara completely flooded with mud and debris from the hillsides of the Thomas fire, which is still burning even after a couple of inches of rain. The reason for the destruction and mudflows, is because when a fire burns, it causes the top soil to actually repel the water instead of soaking in, so all the water from the hills now flows quickly down off the burnt hills and into the burnt canyons. These torrential waters move huge boulders with ease. These mudflows will take the path of least resistance which are streets. Mudflows like straight lines so if your house is in the path because the street curves, then your house gets demolished. That is what happened to some of the homes that were destroyed. The street above the 101 freeway, is the street that carried the mudflows off the burnt hills and mountains. Just to the south of me is the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, this is where some of the bodies were found. Basically just outside the grounds. These past 6 months have been crazy, but this is what I went to school for, and what I train for. Just didn't think that these events would be right after one another. Good thing I love my job.
After spending months in the US Virgin Islands helping them recover after the hurricanes. I then get sent to this monster fire, that is ripping through vegetation at an alarming rate. I am in Montecito, and the fire will be here within a few hours. We are doing house assessments on which we can defend and what we can't. This house is not defendable due to all the vegetation around it. Trees and shrubs near or against your house is a bad thing.This fire has already jumped a fire break that was as wide as an 8 lane freeway. I think it just wants to burn Oprahs house. California is not expecting any rain for the rest of the year, and into Jan. looks dry too. The Pacific Ocean is California's largest fire break.
Here we come to save the day. Reminder to turn around don't drown. Don't go out unless it an emergency. Don't call 911 unless it is really an emergency. Flooding is just going to get worse. Stay off the streets.
That "Oh Shit" moment, when you are hiking and you see smoke, so you go to the top of the nearest hill, to see this. There is a house in front of me, I notified them of the fire, and we got out of there. Lucky for them, the wind was blowing it away from their house.
For some reason, I have this feeling I left the stove on.