Around the police blockade, at the entrance to Honey Run Road on the outskirts of Chico, the Camp Fire could be seen burning in small patches on the northern side of the road.
Hopping out of a truck, reporters from The Orion all began shooting videos and pictures, slowly moving further up the road, being careful to make sure there were no points where the fire had jumped the road to the other side or began burning behind us.
“It’s actually getting pretty warm,” one of the reporters noted, camera still glued to his face, clicking away.
“No shit. It’s fire,” came a voice from the darkness of the southern side of the road, startling us.
This was The Orion’s introduction to Tyler Garcia.
Garcia, 19 at the time and a resident of Honey Run Road, agreed to go on camera the first night of the Camp Fire, Nov. 8, and talk about why he refused to evacuate. Garcia said he stayed behind because his grandfather and great-grandfather chose to, and he was their to provide “the muscle” if the fire got too close.
On Nov. 29, just a few days after Garcia turned 20, evacuation orders were issued once again for Honey Run Road, this time due to the possibilities of flash floods.
The fire baked dirt was absorbing less water, and much of the ground level vegetation had burned away and also absorbing less water.
Garcia once again refused the evacuation orders, staying with his family.
“We’ll be fine,” he said, adding that his house survived last time he was evacuated, and only made it so that when he left for supplies it was difficult to return home.
*Video filmed and edited by Alex Grant*
Josh Cozine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @joshcozine on Twitter.
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