When a terrible wildfire blazed across California recently, three firefighters in Oroville, California rushed to save an American flag caught in the flames.
One Saturday, a rescuer, held up by two crewmates, is seen reaching up to remove the flag from the side of a home. According to CNN.com, the names of firefighters are unknown, but this photo should be an uplifting reminder that not everything can be destroyed.
The photographer who took the photo, Josh Edelson, is known for shooting wildfires in California every summer. When he saw the fire, which was about a couple hundred yards away, he crept up the hill towards the home to capture it on camera.
When he arrived closer to the home, firefighters from Cal Fire were spraying water on nearby weeds and doing other preventative measures to defend the house. Edelson described the moment he saw the firefighters grabbing the American flag as a brief moment of calm. “That was about the time they turned around and saw the flag, and they wanted to get it down,” Edelson told CNN.com. “But it was pretty high up; they couldn’t reach it.”
Edelson believes their intention to protect the flag was a “symbolic act,” but it’s also possible that removing it was a preventative measure since the fabric was waving so close to the house. If the wind blew the flag any closer to the home, the rest of the house would have caught fire.
Regardless of their intention, it was a beautiful photo amidst complete tragedy and chaos. It is reported that about 35% of the fire has been contained, but by Monday, it had already burned through 5,600 acres of property and destroyed 17 structures. Another 5,400 structures are still threatened by the flames, according to Cal Fire.
Please pray for the families affected by this terrible fire.
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To watch a heartwarming video of a teen in a wheelchair rising to salute the American flag, please click here.
[Featured Image Credit: CNN via Josh Edelson]