This article appeared in the November 13, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 11/13 edition

Bonds forged by fire

NASA
Image of the Camp fire in Northern California and the Hill and Woolsey fires in Southern California, taken Nov. 9, 2018, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer on NASA's Terra satellite.
David Clark Scott
Audience Engagement Editor

Neighbors helping neighbors.

At the height of the deadliest fire in California history, Jacob Jones grabbed a few things from his home in Paradise, Calif., and jumped into his 1991 Honda Civic. Flames and smoke encircled. He spotted his neighbor and her two small children, four puppies, and his own dog, Kye. They piled into the old two-seater, which Jones affectionately calls “Betty White.” Moments later he spotted a friend, his cat stuffed in his shirt, stranded next to his car. Then, somehow, they wedged a hitchhiker into the vehicle. If you’re counting, that’s five passengers, five dogs, and a cat rescued.

In Malibu, Calif., Tim Biglow and four neighbors battled the Woolsey fire until dawn Saturday as flames marched down Paseo Canyon Drive. They cleared brush and knocked down small fires with their own industrial-grade hoses. “It was coming so fast.... We had to keep following it as it moved down the street," Mr. Biglow told the Palm Springs Desert Sun.

Another Malibu resident, Robert Spangle, likened the devastation – and the community response – to a war zone. Spangle served two tours in Afghanistan as a Marine. Later, as a photographer in Iraq, he saw neighbors carrying the injured down the street, and in Malibu, where Spangle also fought flames with his neighbors, he’s seen similar moments of a “sort of communal bond that really comes out in adverse conditions.”

Neighbors helping neighbors.

Now to our five selected stories, including a democracy gut-check in the South, why Afghans have stopped fleeing to Europe, and what an American TV sitcom can teach us about ethics.

Share this article


This article appeared in the November 13, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 11/13 edition