The stories emerging from the ashes of the West’s raging fires are often tragic. More than 40 have lost their lives. Yet one family had a fabulous surprise when they returned home after evacuating. The family dog, Izzy, had panicked moments before they left, but he survived the fire and was waiting for the family’s return.
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The Widens left home in advance of the fire, but couldn’t find Izzy–a 9-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog. The family had to drive through the flames, and over a bridge that was actually burning in order to escape.
“My brother and husband were determined to try to get back to my parents property to see if by some miracle Izzy survived,” Beckyjean Widen said.
As the Daily Mail reports, ” Jack Weaver, left, and his brother in law, Patrick Widen, pose with Izzy who belongs to Weaver’s parents after they were reunited.”
The family lost the house, and much of the vegetation on their property, but it was the loss of Izzy that hurt the most.
“My brother and husband were determined to try to get back to my parents property to see if by some miracle Izzy survived,” Widen said. “They were turned away by police officers, but if you know my brother or husband … neither one likes to be told no. They ended up hiking just under 3 miles to my parent’s property.”
The dog wasn’t hurt in the fire. With the amount of devastation, this seems the biggest mystery. “No singed hair,” Widen wrote, “no burned paws … They took her to a vet right after they found her, and she was checked out. ‘She was dehydrated and very tired, but other than that she was perfect. We were all in disbelief.”
On the video, one man can be heard saying “the tractor made it … the tractor is totally fine,” which seems to be an optimistic sign. And then Izzy returns. “Izzy’s here! Izzy, Izzy, come here baby!”
The fires in northern California are truly staggering. A wet summer left the area covered with grasses and small plants that are drying now and fueling the fires. More than 100,000 people have evacuated. More than 40 are known casualties and there are scores unaccounted for.
Much of the media coverage hasn’t focused on what’s to come. The conditions in the northern part of the state are also showing now in the southern half, and experts are warning that the fires will continue to spread. This situation is far from over.