SANTA ROSA, California -- Victims of the wildfires in California are finding Iowans among those helping them recover. That includes Holstein native Mick Pickett, a Red Cross volunteer.
Pickett's mission right now in California is to drive an ERV, or Emergency Response Vehicle, that carries supplies including bottled water, food and cleaning kits to fire victims. Pickett is working in the Santa Rosa area. That's one of the hardest hit areas in California by the fires that have been burning for weeks.
Pickett says its hard to see people who realize they've lost everything. "You encounter people who lost family, lost their property," he says, "A lot of them just need someone to talk to. They're looking for answers but its so overwhelming its so hard to believe."
Pickett says many people don't realize just how different wildfires are from other natural disasters. He says when floods hit you can go home and clean up mud. When a wildfire hits there is nothing left at all, just ashes.
Pickett has seen plenty of the worst mother nature has to offer this year. Earlier this month he deployed to Florida to help with cleanup from Hurricane Irma. He's now been in California for five days.