Man Who Wouldn’t Evacuate Fire-Ravaged Napa County Town Used Facebook Live to Broadcast Firestorm

With the wine country gripped by the deadliest string of wildfires in California history, residents of the Berryessa Highlands in Napa County have struggled to get real-time information about their small hamlet.

Firefighter Brandon Tolp works to prevent flames from crossing Highway 29, north of Calistoga, Calif. as wildfires raged in Northern California in October, 2017. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Firefighter Brandon Tolp works to prevent flames from crossing Highway 29, north of Calistoga, Calif. as wildfires raged in Northern California in October, 2017. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

They’ve come to rely on Evan Kilkus.

While many heeded the evacuation order as the Atlas Peak fire swept through, Kilkus, 34, refused to leave. Instead, he turned into a one-man news team for his neighbors.

Using Facebook Live, he streamed real-time video of the flames from atop a ridgeline accessible from his father’s property. For seven days, he narrated and posted videos, providing context and updates to residents on edge about the fate of their homes.

Read the full story on LATimes.com