California has been plagued with wildfires this year. A total of 7,980 fires have burned 1,046,995 acres (4,237.04 km2), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. This is the story of how a woman saved herself and her dog from one such fire.
Natasha Wallace, a Santa Rosa Junior College student, was busy studying on Monday night. Finally, at about 2:00am, she headed home. That's when she realized that the fire she could see from the highway meant she needed to evacuate.
She headed home, though, because there was no way she was leaving without her dog. "I would never part ways with my dog, ever," Wallace said. "That's my ride or die. Oh my God, literally."
Putting her pit bull, Bentley, in her Honda with her, she began driving. Mere minutes later, she was at a standstill as other people tried to leave, too, clogging the street.
"(The fire) was coming faster than I could leave in traffic, so I went back and got my bike," Wallace said. But how was she going to get 70-pound Bentley out with her? That's when she grabbed a duffel bag."I told him, 'Hey man, this is serious, you need to just sit in the bag.' And he, he hopped right in," Wallace grinned.
The fire was devastating. Everywhere she looked, things were burning. Northern California wildfires had already killed thirty one people. Wallace didn't intend for herself or her dog to be victims, too.
The soccer player picked up the duffel bag and headed out on her bicycle. But a few miles down the road and finally ahead of the fire, a good Samaritan pulled over in his truck and offered her and Bentley a ride.
Wallace is grateful to Paul Johnson, the man who assisted her out of town. She's lost everything in the fire. Her home is gone, and all her belongings have been incinerated. But she has Bentley, and she's thankful to be alive. "I just want to say thank you to him, Paul Johnson," Wallace said.
Watching this video is a stark reminder of the power wildfires have. Have you been the victim of a fire? If so, what happened to your pets? Share this amazing story with your friends, then tell us your story in the comments. Inquiring minds want to know!