Quantcast

Everyday Heroes and Thousands of Firefighters Step Up to SoCal Wildfires

Popular

As six large wildfires and several smaller fires burn across Southern California, firefighters, first responders and everyday Americans are stepping up—and risking their lives—to rescue fellow citizens, homes, buildings and animals from the blazes.

About 5,700 firefighters are battling the region's brushfires around the clock in intense heat and grueling conditions.


Some come from nearby states, such as Genesee Dennis from the Seaside Fire Department in Oregon who is putting out the Creek Fire with colleagues.

"We just do it. And us going through a 24-hour shift is nothing compared to folks losing their homes," Dennis told CBSLA.

The Los Angeles Police Department touted that their motto "To Protect and Serve" applies in many ways. The department posted an image of an officer in a respirator carrying a cat as smoke billowed from behind.

"For some it might just be a cat," the tweet said. "But to others it's a friend, a loved one, a companion."

Other Californians have braved harrowing conditions to save animals. In the video seen above, a man steps into the scorching Ventura County highway to rescue a wild rabbit.

The clip has since gone viral with many on social media calling the man a hero.

"If you need your faith in humanity restored just watch this video of a man saving a wild bunny from the #LAFires," one person tweeted.

Several locals also banded together to save a horse trapped in a ditch as fires raged in Sylmar, California.

"A veterinarian tranquilized the horse, others began moving furniture out of a garage and LA County fire freed up a small crew to help with the rescue," Gina Silva, a reporter with Fox 11, wrote on Instagram.

"They all tore down the wall to free the animal. The horse was then immediately transported to a nearby animal hospital."

In Ventura County, a group of five friends used garden hoses to beat back flames at homes owned by people they've never met.

"For us, this is our community," John Bain, one of the group members, told the Los Angeles Times. "I consider this our home. When something like this happens … you can sit around for things to get better or you can try to go out there and do something."

Evacuation centers and animal shelters are housing people and pets displaced by the fires. The Times reported that Los Angeles Unified school officials have opened centers where students affected by wildfires can pick up free meals.

It's clear that in times like these, when Mother Nature is at her worst, humanity can be at its best.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Asian elephants frolic in Kaudulla Wewa at Kaudulla National Park in central Sri Lanka. David Stanley / CC BY 2.0

When it comes to saving some of the planet's largest animals, a group of researchers says that old methods of conservation just won't cut it anymore.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

A low-fat diet that prioritizes eating healthier foods like fruits and vegetables each day could lower the risk a woman's risk of dying from breast cancer, according to a multi-decade study published this month.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
smcgee / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Several New York City Starbucks exposed customers to a potentially deadly pesticide, two lawsuits filed Tuesday allege.

Read More Show Less
Drinks with plastic straws on sale at London's Borough Market. Susie Adams / Getty Images

The UK government has set a date for a ban on the sale of single use plastics, The Guardian reported Wednesday. From April 2020, the sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds with plastic stems will be prohibited in England.

Read More Show Less
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) speaks during the North American Building Trades Unions Conference at the Washington Hilton April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson / Getty Images

Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Foto-Rabe / Pixabay

When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.

Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.

Read More Show Less
A crate carrying one of the 33 lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Columbia is lifted onto the back of a lorry before being transported to a private reserve on April 30, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Animal welfare advocates are praising soon-to-be introduced legislation in the U.S. that would ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.

Read More Show Less
A tornado Monday in Union City, Oklahoma. TicToc by Bloomberg / YouTube screenshot

Extreme weather spawned 18 tornadoes across five states Monday, USA Today reported. Tornadoes were reported in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arizona, but were not as dangerous as forecasters had initially feared, the Associated Press reported.

Read More Show Less