Couple loses almost everything in California wildfire

Kelly Thomas just had time to gather her animals on Tuesday when the evacuation order was issued for Berry Creek, California.Her husband Brad doused t...

Posted: Sep 13, 2020 3:39 AM

Kelly Thomas just had time to gather her animals on Tuesday when the evacuation order was issued for Berry Creek, California.

Her husband Brad doused their house with water in a desperate effort to save it from the North Complex Fire, which has burned more than 252,000 acres since it was sparked by a lightning fire on August 17.

They fled the fire and ended up sleeping in their vehicles for two nights in a Walmart parking lot in Oroville, which is about 30 miles away.

Family helped them get a small travel trailer, she said. They are staying there with a friend, Kelly's six dogs and a bird.

Kelly Thomas said her horses and zebra were rescued and her mom and four cats are staying with someone else.

"It's been a wild few days to say the least but we are grateful to be alive," she said.

Brad Thomas found a desolate scene when he returned Thursday to see their home.

"We just had to know," Kelly Thomas said. "It was killing us inside not knowing."

The house was destroyed. He found burned-out vehicles and equipment around the yard.

"We lost everything. His parents' urns, pictures, clothing, personal effects, everything," she wrote in an Instagram message.

She said their insurance had been canceled before the fire because a neighbor had dumped cars and other junk too close to their property.

The food truck she'd just bought was also destroyed.

"I had just paid it off and put it in my name Monday," she said. "Unfortunately the day of the fire was literally the day I was going to insure that also. I was two weeks away from a soft opening and being a small business owner."

Brad Thomas is a former heavy equipment operator. He was surprised to see that his Bobcat loader not only survived the fire, it started right up and was working just fine.

Kelly Thomas said they were grateful to be safe.

The North Complex Fire has killed at least nine people, including a 16-year-old boy who was fleeing the area in his vehicle, according to Butte County authorities. More than a dozen were missing, the sheriff's office said this week.

Wildfires are blamed for at least 27 deaths in California, Oregon and Washington and dozens more are missing.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 59°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Crater Lake
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 59°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 59°
Klamath Falls
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 45°
Cooler temperatures and thin haze return on the first day of fall
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events