PV Student Helps Save Animals During Fires

Chloe Slome, Writer

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With the Camp Fire in the North and the Woolsey Fire in the South, California this November was in a state of heat. Both fires, starting on November 8, confronted the firefighters with a difficult challenge.

The Woolsey Fire, breaking out near Simi Valley, burned for nearly two weeks in the Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Fueled by low humidity and gusty winds, the fire was a force to be reckoned with.

Leaving Malibu and neighboring areas in destruction, more than 96,000 acres of land was burned and at least 1,640 structures were destroyed according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. According to an analysis conducted by The Times and Zillow, more than 400 single-family homes that burned down had an estimated market value of at least $1.6 billion.

Although officials are still investigating the Woolsey’s fire cause, victims of the fire have already sued Southern California Edison for negligence. The lawsuit is based on Edison’s failure to shut off power before the fire started, but Edison said there was no indication from fire officials that its’ equipment may have been involved in the start of the fire.

Scarlet Pierson, a junior at PVHS, helped for three days at the Woolsey Fire to evacuate animals. Helping last year to evacuate animals from the fires, this year, Pierson was at the fire from Friday to Monday morning when she returned for school.  

“When you hear on the news that this many houses burned down, it doesn’t really click until you see it . . . When you see a house on fire,” Pierson said.

With help from her friend and little sister, Pierson went for three days non-stop with minimal sleep to help rescue animals. As the animals’ owners had already evacuated, a trailer was their only hope at ensuring their animals’ safety.

After all of Pierson’s efforts, she successfully rescued and saved at least 30 horses, 15 donkeys, and numerous goats, chickens, and cows.

Deemed the deadliest fire in California to date, the Camp Fire spread in Northern California to communities such as Paradise which has been virtually decimated. Battled for 18 days, the fire killed at least 85 people present in the 153,336 acres, burning 13,772 residences.

Following an investigation by authorities, the origin of the devastating Camp Fire is linked to the failure of single steel hook that held up a high voltage line on a nearly 100-year old PG&E transmission tower. The investigation revealed that the hook failed due

to the high winds on the morning the fire began.

Post-fire restoration is now underway in December beginning with the restoration of power to Camp Fire area by PG&E. In the Woolsey Fire area, work to stabilize hillsides and repair infrastructure damaged by the fire has already begun as 20-mile stretches along the Pacific Coast Highway have been closed.

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