The devastating Carr Fire is now the eighth-largest wildfire in California state history. The blaze, which ignited on July 23 near Redding, has claimed the lives of at least seven people, as firefighters work to quell the flames.
The fire was caused by a minor incident. A couple, traveling with a trailer, got a flat tire. The steel rim for that tire scraped the asphalt, and the sparks lit up dry brush along the highway.
Rachel Pilli, a Redding resident, wanted to reach out to the couple, who blame themselves for igniting the blaze, to tell them that it wasn’t their fault.
“I was thinking if I could send a card, maybe my friends would also send a card,” Pilli told KRCR.
She took to social media to ask if anyone else would like to send the couple a note as well. The post was then put up on a Facebook page called Carr Fire Stories, where those affected by the fire could share stories of rebuilding their lives.
The post has gotten more than 500 comments since it was added to the page on Monday. Commenters have offered the couple forgiveness and assurance that they should not bear the blame for what transpired.
“We had firefighters out there fighting the fire send notes; we’ve had counselors saying they would be willing to meet with the couple; we’ve had people who’ve lost everything, and they are even saying it’s not your fault,” Hope Seth, the page’s administrator, said. “The grandfather Ed Bledsoe who lost his wife and grandchildren. His granddaughter, I believe, made a post about how they weren’t to blame.”
Seth said she plans to print out the Facebook comments and add them to a physical letter to send to the couple.