Photo and story by Patricia Kemp and Emery Graham
With their three dogs in tow, Jay, Diane and their son stopped at the Red Cross aid station at School in the Woods after leaving the site where their house once stood. Jay picked up a rake and a shovel. A small, but first step that will help him plant new trees for his wife and restore a yard for his mountain dogs.
After eight days of not knowing whether their house was still standing or if Diane’s orchard escaped the inferno, the Thompsons were allowed to drive up their street to see their home.
“It’s dust,” said Jay.
When the wildfire forced the Thompsons to evacuate last week, they herded their dogs, Ava, Ozzy and Blitz in their truck and fled for safety.
Jay and Diane Thompson have lived in their Black Forest home since 1986 where she grew fruit trees and he bred German Shepherds.
Although the Thompsons lost their home, they were grateful they had each other, their pets, and the support of the Red Cross and the community.