On October 9, 2017, California suffered one of the most destructive fires in its history. The Tubbs Fire burned 5,643 structures and killed twenty-two people in Sonoma County. The fire department was completely overwhelmed and was so busy trying to save lives that they had to let many houses burn rather than waste resources in trying to protect them. During this chaos, nine of us snuck back into our neighborhood in the mandatory evacuation zone and formed a vigilante fire force. We called ourselves the Pointe Patrol, and saved our neighborhood, as well as an apartment complex across the street from certain destruction.
As if the fires weren’t enough, we found ourselves in the midst of anarchy, with looters running unchecked through the streets. We chased them out of houses with shovels, confronted them when they showed up in disguise, and patrolled the area with a completely over-the-top Doberman. The other neighbors who had evacuated organized themselves into our support network and supplied us with food and equipment, which they passed through to us across the police lines. My wife and I were part of that nine-person team and experienced all of this firsthand. This is the story of what happened at Viewpointe Circle during those two weeks in October.
Concept/Idea: Beann offers a vivid first-hand perspective on the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County, detailing how neighbors, friends, and acquaintances banded together to protect their community from further destruction.
Prose: Beann writes in a lively, novelistic prose style that is well-suited to the author's on-the-ground account.
Originality: Writing from a unique vantage point, the author provides an uncommon chronicle of a recent tragedy, greatly humanizing the disaster.
Execution: Beann provides a general timeline of the fires, while also focusing intimately on his immediate surroundings and describing his efforts to protect his family and home. Beann's recollections of his community's perseverance and cooperation, are heartening.
Date Submitted: January 27, 2020
An extraordinary and vivid account of the firestorm devastating Northern California in 2017. His prose uncovers the tragedy as Earik and an unlikely band of people saved a large area from even more fire damage... Working often to douse flames with their bare hands.
When finishing this heartfelt and well written book, I was stunned by the courage and commitment of this hardy band of heroes. Thank you Earik for recounting the human connection coupled with so many heroic actions.
"Santa Rosa businessman's book 'Pointe Patrol' a moving tale of fire resistance"