The devastating wildfires that have ripped across California in the last week have claimed thousands of acres, taken hundreds of homes, and uprooted countless families. Day after day, the headlines keep rolling in. But for those who are on the front lines of it all — the families who’ve lost everything and the brave men and women who continue to battle the fire hour after hour — the headlines don’t even do it justice.
Rob Lowe has seen it firsthand. The actor’s Santa Barbara home sits perilously close to the Thomas Fire that continues to rage on through the day and night. But he feels indebted to the local firefighters who have literally stood in his backyard and kept the flames at bay.
On Sunday evening, the Code Black star wanted to thank them for their many hours of service and backbreaking efforts to save the homes of so many in his town. So he did the first thing he could think to do: He whipped up a hearty feast of spaghetti, hamburgers, biscuits, salad, and more.
“Dinner for new friends at our house,” the actor captioned an Instagram photo, which featured a small group of firefighters who’ve been working round the clock.
It wasn’t the only update Lowe shared that day, though. He posted another one earlier in the day posing in front of a fire truck, with a crew of dedicated firefighters — some from his local fire station, and others who have come from other parts of the country, just to lend a hand.
“Thank you to all the crews from all over the country who stood tall and saved my town,” Lowe wrote. “#respect #gratitude.”
He even jumped into the action himself, donning an extra set of bunker gear and a small watering hose to extinguish nearby flames.
“Helping earlier today,” wrote Lowe.”You do what you can, but when it’s time … you GO.”
The Thomas Fires have been raging for days, spreading further due to strong gusty winds and swiftly becoming the third-largest in California state history. Some 1,300 homes and businesses have been lost to the fires and countless others in the area remain threatened — including those belonging to Katy Perry and even Oprah.
“Still praying for our little town,” Oprah wrote on Twitter December 16. “Winds picked up this morning creating a perfect storm of bad for firefighters.”
Images of the fires burning have been splashed across Twitter and Facebook since they first started burning earlier this month, and they are nothing short of gut-wrenching to see. But most heartbreaking of all are the lives the fires have claimed as the inferno has spread further and further across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties — such as the life of 32-year-old firefighter Cory Iverson, who according to ABC News, has a 2-year-old daughter and a wife who is currently pregnant.
Our hearts go out to all those affected by the Thomas wild fire, as well as those who continue to stand on the front lines and keep it at bay.