The California wildfires are finally almost completely contained after bringing devastation to the Northern part of the state for weeks. The series of fires were described as “one of the worst disasters in California’s history.”
The death toll has risen to over 40 as of Monday, October 30th, and it is possible that it could grow even higher as some fire victims are still recovering in the hospital. The 43rd victim was claimed on Monday—a 17-year-old girl named Kressa Shepherd from Redwood Valley, California.
Earlier in October, The Shepherd family-of-four attempted to escape the rapidly growing fire by driving, but the vehicle eventually caught on fire, forcing them to attempt to flee on foot. A neighbor, who survived the massive heat of the flames, found the family.
Sadly, Kressa’s younger brother, 14-year-old Kai Shepherd, was already dead when the neighbor arrived. The teens’ father was further down the mountain trying to get help, but the neighbor was able to keep Kress and her mother comfortable until first responders made it to the scene.
Kressa and her parents were being treated in local hospitals, hoping to make it out alive. Unfortunately, the Shepherd parents lost their last living child—Kressa died on Sunday, October 29th. According to a local news source, the 17-year-old had been unconscious for days and was taken off life support.
Kressa’s family member wrote on their donation page, “Today during a dressing change it was noticed that she was in no pain which is very unusual. They did a CT scan and it showed that her brain had been dead for some time. There was nothing the doctors could do. She is no longer in any pain and is with Kai now. Please continue to pray for strength to get through the loss of this precious soul.”
It is unclear what condition the parents are in and if they are even aware of their children’s deaths.
The family has lost their home (which was uninsured), vehicle, and other possessions. A fundraiser has been started for them by other family members; the fund has more than doubled their goal of $100,000, but the campaign is still ongoing. If you would like to contribute, please visit their website here.
Please keep this family in your prayers today. May God comfort them during this difficult time. In other news, Rosie O’Donnell came under fire for her response to Kevin Spacey coming out as a gay.