Blue Cut Fire survivor tells harrowing story of survival

“It just came on us so fast. We grabbed what we could and got in the car for safety. The flames were everywhere.”

For Tiana Bowerman of Phelan, California, the Blue Cut Fire destroyed everything in just a matter of minutes. Bowerman, her boyfriend and their dog, Miss Lady, sheltered in their small car for a week next to the burned out trailer they were renting. They did not have insurance.

Volunteer Denise Van Ness with Client Tiana Bowerman
Red Cross Volunteer Denise Van Ness comforts Blue Cut Fire victim Tiana Bowerman of Phelan as she recounts her story of survival during the Blue Cut Fire in San Bernardino County, Calif.

The American Red Cross has dispatched mobile feeding crews to make contact with those returning to their homes or those who stayed when the massive wildfire tore through the Cajon Pass area of San Bernardino County. Many in the area are without power as local utility crews replace power poles damaged by the 37,000-acre fire.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do next,” said Bowerman as she looked at the remains of her trailer. “The Red Cross coming here is a blessing. Miss Lady hasn’t been able to feed her puppies and now we can feed her and the puppies will be able to nurse.

Blue Cut Fire Client Tiana Bowerman“Recovering from a disaster can be a confusing, emotionally draining and complicated process,” said Debbie Graves, regional disaster officer, American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region. “Caseworkers will meet one-on-one with residents to assist them with creating recovery plans, navigating paperwork and finding assistance from other agencies.”

“I’m so thankful right now,” said Bowerman as she watched Miss Lady eat. “You don’t have any idea how much this means to me.”

You can help people affected by disasters like the California wildfires and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the us to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. To make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief, simply call, click or text. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.





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