Jackson County Search and Rescue returns from Camp Fire

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — A Jackson County Search and Rescue team arrived home just in time for Thanksgiving on Wednesday.

A deputy, K-9 and 12 search and rescue volunteers were sent down to Paradise, California Sunday.

Their assignment was searching destroyed homes and buildings for those who didn’t make it out.

Jason Denton, Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy, said he didn’t know what to expect going down there. But now being home, he said nothing could have prepared him for what he saw.

“When you actually got up there and you saw that everything was burned,” said Dep. Denton, “every house, every street, every apartment complex, every duplex, there was nothing left standing.”

The team said the town was so destroyed that cars were melted in place.

Dep. Denton said they’re grateful to be home for Thanksgiving, but after visiting Paradise, he couldn’t help but think of those who lost it all.

“Kind of makes you feel a bit selfish,” Dep. Denton said. “You get to go home, see your family, have a Thanksgiving dinner, see your kids, sleep in your own bed, your own house, drive your own truck… There’s 50-something thousand people that still have a family, most of them, but no where to go. Sleeping in a tent in a FEMA field somewhere.”

Dep. Denton said so much of Paradise is gone, that the landscape looks like the surface of the moon. And since that area is expecting rain soon, there’s nothing to hold back water or mudslides, and that’s why they returned home before the holiday.

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