On Saturday, firefighters Chris Harvey and Gary Loesch of the Sacramento Fire Department were traveling down Honey Run Road in Paradise, California, when they stumbled across something completely unexpected.
The catastrophic Camp Fire had blasted through the Sierra Nevada foothill hamlet of Paradise just days before, leaving charred ruins of homes and husks of automobiles in its wake. The fast-moving fire had taken the lives of both humans and animals, turning a village of retirees and young families into a ghost town.
So they reasoned.
Harvey and Loesch were on their way to investigate an accident caused by a falling tree when they noticed two tired creatures emerging from the smoke.
Harvey could see the donkeys were disoriented because they were slowly limping down the center of the road in the wrong way.
“We pulled over to let them pass,” Harvey told The Dodo, “and observed that they appeared really fatigued, worn out, and thirsty.” “I attempted to give them water from a water bottle in my hand, but it kept leaking.”
Harvey understood the donkeys needed more than a few sips of water after all they’d gone through, so he took apples from his and Loesch’s bag lunches and fed them to the donkeys.
Harvey could immediately see the impact of his small gesture of goodwill on the survivors.
“They devoured the apples rapidly and looked appreciative of the treat,” Harvey observed. “We contacted base camp and requested that animal control officials be dispatched to retrieve the donkeys.”