LOCAL HEROES. As we were evacuating on Sunday, 8 October, we reached the end of our driveway and wanted to turn left toward Healdsburg, but the trees in the road were too big for us to lift. We had to turn right toward the fire, moving other large trees out of the way as the wind continued to knock down branches and send them flying through the air. We circled back to the road behind us where we found a familiar face and beacon of hope: Augie Grube, a neighbor and one of our KV volunteer firefighters. Augie was out on the road, directing long lines of cars through a neighbor’s vineyard and back out onto the main highway. The windstorm continued relentlessly hurling debris while the firestorm raged on hills around us. The highway was littered with fallen trees and downed power lines with cables swinging. Bud Pochini (another neighbor and KV volunteer firefighter) along with a few others used chainsaws to cut a path through those fallen trees and downed power lines, creating a passable evacuation route toward Healdsburg.
Augie and Bud helped friends and neighbors evacuate to safety then returned to battle the firestorm and defend homes in our Knights Valley/Franz Valley communities. On Sunday night, while Augie and Bud were helping others, Augie’s family’s home burned. And on Monday morning as they continued to save neighbors’ homes, Bud’s family’s home burned. Their homes burned down while they were helping others. They risked so much and saved so many.Our journey to safety was made possible by incredible neighbors, homegrown local heroes: Augie Grube and Bud Pochini. THANK YOU AUGIE and BUD.
A gofundme has been set up for each family. Let’s help our local heroes rebuild!