NewsCovering Kern County


Erskine devastation leads to unique bond

A flag, a photo and a friendship
Posted at 8:02 AM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 11:02:30-05
The Erskine Fire ripped through the Kern River Valley in June of 2016, killing two people, destroying 309 structures and burning 48,000 acres. 
More than a year and a half later, the residents are still reminded of the devastation by the charred remains that can still be found in the area.
Kern River Valley resident Darl Snyder lives 12 miles down a side road off Highway 178 in a rural area with only a few homes scattered around. He stayed with his home as the flames approached, and watched trees burn on one side of his home as his neighbor's home went up in flames on the other. Snyder says he was ready to lose his own home. 
"I sat in the road and watched thinking any minute, my house has gotta go up," Snyder said.
As he witnessed his community burn, Snyder says a man drove up in front of his home, took a picture, then drove away.
"I thought, 'You're just another media vulture,'" he said.
Little did he know, that picture would spiral into an unlikely bond. As 23ABC's Leah Pezzetti reports, a flag and a photo are the perfect recipe for friendship.