As the sixth most destructive California wildfire on record continues to scorch a northern section of the state, people nowhere near the disaster zone are stepping and doing what they can to provide relief to those in need.
A caravan on Wednesday departed the South Bay, made a stop in the East Bay and then continued on Interstate 5 headed north to deliver food, water, toiletries and other necessary supplies to those people who have lost everything to the Carr Fire, which has charred an area the size of San Jose and wiped out 1,018 homes since igniting last week.
The organizer of the caravan has helped out before, but this time it's intensely personal. Jamie Bruck's great-grandmother lost her home to the blaze and only managed to escape with the clothes on her back.
Heidi and Ron Wilson answered the call for help Bruck put out Sunday, and now three days later, a caravan of six trailers stuffed with food for people and pets, diapers and baby wipes, toiletries, home goods and other supplies is on its way to the fire zone.
"The trailer that we're pulling was donated by someone we don’t even know," Heidi Wilson said. "We just backed into their driveway, grabbed it and took off."
The Wilsons are driving eight hours to and from Shasta County Wednesday to hand off the supplies.
"I think watching the devastation and just the heartbreaking stories of people losing their homes and everything they have just makes you want to help in some small way, and this is kind of the way that we can help," Heidi Wilson said.
Nadim Aziz of San Jose is also driving a trailer to the Redding area, feeling fortunate that he's dishing out help rather than receiving it. He nearly lost his home near Yosemite National Park to a wildfire that ignited last year.
"I watched that fire on the webcam at my house, and it’s a pretty strange feeling," he said. "It doesn’t put it in perspective what people go through who lose everything, but it gives a small glimpse of how devastating it can be."
Through the smoke choking the air and ash raining down on leveled communities, Aziz still sees glimpses of hope.
2-Year-Old Brings Breakfast to Firefighters Battling Carr Fire
"It’s nice to see people just worried about taking care of other people," he said. "That shows what's the best in people in this country."