Firefighter Rescues Cat From California Wildfire; Now She Won’t Leave Him Alone

November 20, 2018 Updated: November 20, 2018

A firefighter in California who rescued a cat from the devastating Camp Fire says the animal now won’t leave him alone.

Ryan Coleman with the Fairview Valley Fire encountered the gray cat, taking photos of the animal when it wouldn’t leave his side, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Coleman was surveying the debris in Paradise, California after the fire ravaged the small city.

“Kitty rescue,” he said on Facebook. “She just chilled on my neck and shoulders as I’d walk around.” A video shows the cat, which has not been named, on his shoulders. “Let’s go for a walk. Where are we going? We’re walking around,” he says in the video.

Kitty rescue. She just chilled on my neck and shoulders as I’d walk around.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Ryan Coleman‎‏ في الثلاثاء، ١٣ نوفمبر ٢٠١٨

A few days before, he wrote about the devastation left by the fire.

“On scene of the Camp Fire, and starting shift #1. My heart and prayers go out to the more than 2,000 families that lost their homes and all the people that lost loved ones,” he wrote. “Hoping for the safety of my crew and fellow firefighters. I’m excited to be here helping out, and I’m ready to get started doing what we do,” he said.

The Camp Fire, which mainly affected Butte County, killed at least 77 people. More than 151,000 acres of land were scorched and more than 11,000 homes were destroyed, CNN reported.

Rain is expected to hit the area, which has raised concerns about potential mudslides.

“They’re having to fight this fire right now in the mountainous areas … the ravines, the canyons, very steep, rugged terrain,” said Scott McLean, deputy chief for Cal Fire. “They’re back there on dirt roads, dirt trails, trying to fight this fire. Now it’s going to turn into mud, which will be another hazard for them to contend with.”

“The wet systems are expected to help suppress the #Campfire & improve air quality. Recently burned areas could see ash flow, though, and even have the potential for debris flow if rain intensity is high enough.,” said the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office.

Fire officials told the network that the Camp Fire might not stop burning until Nov. 30.

Nearly 1,300 names are on a list of people unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began in Butte County, authorities said late Saturday. They stressed that the long roster does not mean they believe all those on the list are missing, according to The Associated Press.

Sheriff Kory Honea pleaded with evacuees to review the list of those reported as unreachable by family and friends and to call the department if those people are known to be safe.

Deputies have located hundreds of people to date, but the overall number keeps growing because they are adding more names, including those from the chaotic early hours of the disaster, Honea said.

“As much as I wish that we could get through all of this before the rains come, I don’t know if that’s possible,” he said, AP reported. Honea said it was within the “realm of possibility” that officials would never know the exact death toll from the blaze.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.