The unlikely hero in us all~
Through all our differences, the human spirit is an amazing force when called upon in times of desperation. To witness a community suffer a mass shooting and a deadly wildfire all in the matter of 36 hrs and never miss a stride is somehow a beautiful feat even in the middle of so much loss.
Below, the Point Dume Bomders take a quick rest at Robert’s Outpost atop the scenic headlands in between fighting flare ups, setting up supply chains and welfare checks on stranded residents.
I spent my days trying to tend to the animals and distressed natives like Bonnie Decker who’s grandfather settled Decker canyon over 100 years ago, bringing the first Quarter Horse to California.
Between the fire lines~
With a fake press pass in hand, I made my rounds through town, gathering tools from friends, a water pump from the hardware store and enough Gjusta bread to feed a small Army. There’s three major checkpoints between Venice Beach and the point where the brave few stayed behind to fight the fire on their own. I’ve been through plenty of tornadoes and hurricanes in my life so there must be something I can do. All my adventure gear and camper were up in flames, along w so many of my surf family homes, turning the mega fire into one of those nothing to lose but everything to gain situations.
As the fire raged on through the remaining drought stricken canyons, distress calls and rumors of starving animals cut off by the blaze made their way to our crew of unlikely hot shots. With thousands of horses throughout the windy canyons and a fire that moved like no other, many animals were left behind w no help able to get through. Luckily for them, a 250 gallon tank was commandeered from Larry Thorne’s farm, hay bails from anywhere I could find them and hoses that were brought in by boat w the rest of our gear needed to whoop this fire. The nights were spent driving the streets in groups of four, looking for flare ups that could possibly get out of hand and threaten the unburned houses.
Here, my truck, Brutus delivers water, feed and insulin to the Decker’s as the next canyon over burns in a matter of hours.
Point Dume Boys~
Still defending flare ups from the megafire’s aftermath, a scout group breaks.
12 men started the fight, all “brothers” from a headland community isolated by three sides of the Pacific coast and the highway that follows it. The gully’s are loaded with overgrown fuel and resources stretched thin by a hellacious fire like never seen before, this crew was left w no choice but to defend the families that go back generations.
With 24 homes already in flames, some their own, and shovels to stop the spread. These first time hot shots spent the next 96 hrs w a growing army that not only saved the memories in those homes, they saved a community for those less fortunate to want to rebuild in it.
There are too many stories to share for now and this is just one of thousands in the wake of a states two ongoing megafires, our hearts go out to those left exhausted and homeless, so many with just the clothes on their back.
Point Dume Bomberos~
Perched atop the highest point of the headland, Robert Spangle, spent 96 hrs sleeping in thirty minute increments. The former Marine running the makeshift outpost was checking for smoke in the daytime and glows at night. There to radio to the group of unlikely hero’s dispersed throughout their neighborhood that they so desperately want to save. With not much more than hand tools and 14 walkies that were boated in, the bomberos worked through the night to keep the fire at bay all while keeping up welfare checks up for those stranded on the fire island. Articles about the bombers:
The New Yorker