Resilience in the Face of Tragedy

A firefighter battles a spot fire on Tuesday in rough terrain along Soledad Canyon Road. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

39,000 acres reduced to ashes, 3,000 firefighters heroically battling day and night, 10,000 homes and families evacuated, 60 square miles charred, 18 homes destroyed, one life tragically lost — that’s the heartache I’ve seen over the past week, eclipsed by extreme resilience in the face of tragedy by this community.

If you’ve watched any media coverage over the last year you’d think that our country is hopelessly divided; Democrats and Republicans can’t possibly get along; and our differences are insurmountable. Our community’s response to the Sand Fire shows just how wrong the media is — we live in a country where our neighbors are willing to drop everything to help each other out at a moment’s notice. We shouldn’t forget that. We can’t forget that.

With the fire almost entirely contained, I want to take a moment to say thank you — thank you to the first responders who do the courageous work of running toward danger while telling us to run away from it, thank you to the volunteers who are continuing to spend countless hours assisting those who had to abandon their homes at a moment’s notice, and thank you to the neighbors, friends, and family members who provided moral, financial, and other support to those in need.

We can’t always control a fire, but the people in our community have shown once again that we can control our responses to crisis, and I don’t think there’s a community that’s more resilient or prepared than this one.

Here’s how you can help 

Donate to the Red Cross or Sign up to Volunteer