At the beginning of November 2018, the Camp Fire tore through Paradise, California, devastating the town. During the fire, many heroic people risked their lives to save both people and animals.
Firefighter Chris Harvey and Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch are two of those heroic people. These two performed an incredible act of kindness for two donkeys who survived the Camp Fire.
The day after the fire blazed through the town, Harvey and Loesch drove to Paradise to investigate a car accident caused by a falling tree. Even though the flames were gone, the air was still filled with smoke, making it hard to see.
“Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch responded up to the #CampFire personally to witness the devastation firsthand and check on his firefighters that are deployed there. One can’t help but swell with emotion when faced with such loss. But we give thanks to all that come together to help in this time of tragedy,” the Sacramento Fire Department wrote on Facebook.
As the firefighters drove down the road, they saw two strange figures emerging from the smoke. Once the animals got closer, the firefighters realized they were donkeys.
“We pulled over to let them pass, and saw that they looked very tired, worn out and thirsty,” Harvey told The Dodo. “I tried to give them some water in my hand from a water bottle, but it kept spilling out.”
The donkeys had made it through the fire, but they were exhausted, hungry, thirsty, and very lost. Loesch and Harvey knew if they didn’t help the animals, they might not survive much longer.
The men pulled over to the side of the road and approached the weary animals. Harvey poured some water into his hands and let the donkeys drink. They gratefully lapped up the water.
“I met some new friends in Paradise, California yesterday. A bright spot in an otherwise terrible day,” Harvey wrote on his Facebook page.
Harvey could also tell that the animals were starving. And so, he reached into his bag and pulled out a couple apples. The donkeys ate the apples as quickly as they could.
“They ate the apples quickly and seemed grateful for the snack,” Harvey said. “We called base camp and had them dispatch animal control officers to get the donkeys.”
Harvey and Loesch waited with the donkeys until Animal Control came. They pet the donkeys, reassuring them they were okay. The tired animals stayed completely still—they were too exhausted to even think about moving.
The donkeys are now with Animal Control, and Animal Control is trying to find out who the donkeys’ owners are. In the meantime, many people have offered to watch the donkeys.
These donkeys are thankfully safe, but there are still many other people and animals that are in need of help. If you’d like to help support the victims of the Camp Fire, consider donating to the Humane Society or the American Red Cross.
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h/t: The Dodo