Brad Weldon wasn’t about to leave his blind, 90-year old mother behind when the Camp Fire hit, reports the Sacramento Bee. Weldon is one of a small group of self-proclaimed “mountain boys,” who have “defied evacuation orders and are surviving on meat stored in their generator-powered freezers, bagged lunches dropped off by PG&E crews and supplies provided by a mysterious band of volunteers that Weldon calls ‘the redneck underground.'”
Nothing can truly describe the horrors families have faced, and are facing, with the California Camp Fires. One takeaway here for all of us is that if you live in an area where there’s even a remote possibility you could face an evacuation, there’s little downside in being prepared in the event you can’t leave.
Ryan Lillis reported on the “Mountain Boys,” writing:
“I’m a mountain boy, I’ve got everything I need,” he said. “I understand (the police) are worried, but I’ve been here my whole life.”
The Camp Fire displaced thousands of residents in Northern California’s Butte County, destroyed more than 13,000 homes and killed at least 85 people. It is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history, leaving nearly the entire towns of Paradise, Magalia and other foothill communities in ruins.
Weldon estimated that fewer than a dozen residents have refused to leave and remain in their homes, not daring to venture out in fear that the authorities will order them off the ridge. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has said his deputies won’t arrest people who are legitimately in town — but as long as evacuation orders are in place, authorities won’t let anyone back inside the town if they cross official police check points to go out.
“I can’t see myself sitting in a shelter, day after day, with sick people and screaming kids all around me,” said Lyndon McAfee, another of those toughing it out behind the lines.
McAfee sought shelter for days in the twisted metal remains of a shed in a canyon just outside Paradise, cooking a chicken he killed to survive, before walking to Weldon’s home.
“This is my home, Paradise, man,” he said. “I love this place.”
If you live in wildfire country, take a minute to read through some simple steps to prepare here. And if you’re one of those “Mountain boys,” who won’t leave, make sure you prepare with plenty of water, and get ready to survive after the government stops helping.
Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.