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Fire on the Ridge: Lost and saved and lost and saved and lost and…

Nurse escaping wildfire: I told my husband I was going to die. There was no oxygen in the air. The fire was consuming all the oxygen. Then I touched the side of a fire truck and the handle was melted but they pulled me in and they called for air support and it wasn’t coming and they said otherwise we weren’t going to make it…”

Take some time at start at around 3:14 and hear one of the most terrifying and amazing and inspiring tale of terror and salvation from this Nurse.

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  • Teri Pittman November 13, 2018, 11:49 AM

    Amazing story. I’m glad she was able to get out.

  • Rick November 13, 2018, 11:54 AM

    Scary video. My heart goes out to Paradise and all the other CA towns and the people affec

  • Casey Klahn November 13, 2018, 12:13 PM

    Happy for everyone that made it out.

    A note for posterity: never, never, never panic like those 2 in the early part of the video. The nurse at the later part kept some sense of herself, even while she was on fire.

    If you don’t panic, any possible way out might be found, and in some cases, people make ways or God makes a way.

    My 2 cents from Safeville. Make up your mind right now that you’re not a panicky person. That shit catches. In fact, say no discouragement at all, or else if you cannot muster encouragement, stay shut up.

  • Hammond Aikes November 13, 2018, 2:46 PM

    I’m mean and I’m bad and I ain’t no sissy but when the nurse got to the part about the guy on the bulldozer, my eyes got a little damp around the edges.
    That kind of thing right there, what the guy on the ‘dozer did, is what keeps me going on.
    I am a sucker for guys doing the right thing.

  • Jack November 13, 2018, 3:29 PM

    What I don’t understand is why these people, in the face of these rapidly advancing fires, have not bailed out of these areas well ahead of the fire’s arrival?

  • Andrewdb November 13, 2018, 3:53 PM

    Very glad to see you made it out in one piece. My condolences on your loss and the losses of others in Paradise. AB.

  • ghostsniper November 13, 2018, 5:28 PM

    @Jack, Normalcy Bias
    They don’t believe it will happen to them.
    I wouldn’t be surprised that watching TV causes that way of thinking.
    (false reality)


  • Melinda November 13, 2018, 6:18 PM

    Stunning stories. Bulldozer Guy, wow.

  • Vanderleun November 13, 2018, 6:41 PM

    Jack, ghost,
    There’s a long and detailed answer to why people “didn’t get out of the way.” I will supply you with that in the days ahead, but for now I just have to say that both of you are wrong. But not, like those the fire caught, dead wrong.

  • Casey Klahn November 13, 2018, 7:56 PM

    I was under a for-sure-you-gotta-evacuate order once this summer. It only lasted, I think it was, a day and a half or perhaps 2. We did not evacuate: we were so busy organizing the property, clearing and mowing, that I did not even know that we were “under orders.” Besides, I knew that it was .9 of a mile away, and downwind of us. The DC-10 air tanker and the 2 dozen assorted aircraft used our farmstead and buildings as a pivot point in the sky to turn onto the fire.

    Then, a week later a very good sized fire started on the next canyon to the west of us, and we were one property from the for-sure-evacuate order, in what is essentially a stand-by to go at anytime order. That lasted almost 2 weeks. I never did come up with the perfect solution for evacuating my flat files of artwork (16 plus drawers full to the top). After it was all over, I did arrive at a plan, which includes a newer studio (in an older building) with big barn doors for access. The bug out bags were easy. The valuables, not so much.

    Will I move? Hell no. It’s part of a western ethic. This is my property. It is lovely in endless measure. I do not doubt the good people of Malibu or Paradise in the least. Especially those with roots there.

    Praying for them. Lots.

  • Gordon Scott November 14, 2018, 9:59 AM

    I’m looking forward to reading those stories.

    I do know a little: the fire was reported at 6:30 a.m., and a steady high wind blew it toward Paradise. It moved fast, really fast. By 2:30 p.m. the city hall was burning. People had to drop what they were doing and run, and the way out wasn’t always clear, and there were 30,000 others trying to get down and away using those few roads.

    About a decade ago Australia suffered their equivalent, brushfires. In the early morning the skies were clear. By 1:00 p.m. people were dying as the fires sprang up in many places at once. With the winds, the fires can move as fast as a thunderstorm.

  • cthulhu November 14, 2018, 11:27 PM

    This fire didn’t look like it was going to be all that big, but it has been one of the fastest fires I’ve ever seen in my 50+ years in California. I’ve seen faster down specific canyons in SoCal, but I have never seen a 6:30 reported fire in a field engulf a town by 14:30.