A California news photographer became part of the story on Sunday when he helped firefighters rescue a group of goats as the massive Clayton Fire rapidly advanced on a home.
“One of [the firefighters] jumped over the fence,” Noah Berger, a freelancer shooting for the San Francisco Chronicle, told the newspaper’s SFGate website. “He landed weird on one of his legs, but he kept going, heroically.”
When the firefighter returned, he was carrying a a goat ― and he needed help. He asked for someone to take the animal so he could return to the blaze and rescue more.
The goat, said Berger, “was really hot... and I didn’t have my gloves on so it was really intense.”
Other firefighters quickly joined in the rescue, saving about 10 little goats from the blaze.
The family that owned the goats was forced to evacuate as the fire advanced, and the frightened animals wouldn’t come.
“My husband ran around and started opening pens but things behind him were catching on fire,” Mary Henderson told SFGate.com. “We got the pens open so the goats could at least run, and then we had to get in the car and drive away.”
Henderson said the family saw photographs of the goats being rescued on social media, but several of the goats were still missing.
The 4,000-acre blaze, which is burning about 100 miles north of San Francisco, has destroyed some 170 structures, according to KCRA, the NBC station in Sacramento. By Monday night, the fire was only 5 percent contained, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Also on Monday, 40-year-old Damin Anthony Pashilk was arrested and accused of setting numerous fires over the past year, including the one that led to the current raging wildfire, KCRA reported. He now faces 17 counts of arson.