Over 1,000 firefighters are still battling a series of catastrophic wildfires that continue to blaze across Ventura County, California. Many onlookers have captured “apocalyptic” images of the flames engulfing countryside and destroying everything in their path. In the midst of the arid black fog that is descending the region, stories of heroism are emerging.
Brylle San Juan could see the flames burning up the distant countryside from his bedroom window. He knew he had to do something, however little or insignificant it may feel. He quickly rallied the support of a few of his friends, and the group headed out armed with nothing but burning desire to help save their home county. As they drove onwards towards the chaos, the raging fires grew in size and the heat intensified.
“It was kind of stupid of us to do so, but everyone wanted to help,” San Juan told CNN. The guys quickly got to work, grabbing a bunch of fire hoses and doing their bit to put out the spreading flames. Firefighters on scene advised them to move back, the but the group was determined to help those at risk of losing everything. They lugged buckets of water over their shoulders and doused as many burning structures as they could.
“There were a couple of moments where the wind shifted, and it blew a lot of embers unto us,” Brylle said, but other than they were unharmed. When the flames took hold of a large palm tree and threatened several adjacent properties, firefighters lent the group one of the hoses. They battled and battled, until the flames began to recede. A relative safety had finally been brought to the area.
On their way home to Camarillo, they rode through downtown Ventura, which San Juan said sitting under an eerie “fog” of smoke. “It was almost apocalyptic,” he explained.
As he awoke to another day, Brylle says he could still see the smoke rising from the affected area. Being a student at Ventura College, he said he had no-where to be today and that he was very willing to throw himself back into harm’s way to help protect others from the devastation of the fires.