Saving the Sonoma Serengeti: 2017 Wine Country Fire Heroes

On the night of October 8, 2017, starting with garden hoses and then multiple pieces of equipment nearby, 76-year-old Peter Lang single-handedly fought back the flames of the Tubbs Fire for 10 hours, saving Safari West and its animals as his own home burned to the ground.

Since those dramatic days two years ago, Safari West and its dedicated staff have seen the birth of 145 mammals and 285 hatchings. The land is bursting with new growth and life. Like so many, Peter and his wife, Nancy, are rebuilding their own home.

In recognition of his fight to save nearly 1,000 animals, including giraffes, rhinoceroses, Cape buffalo, antelope, cheetahs, zebras, hyenas and hundreds of birds, the American Red Cross honored Peter Lang with its 2018 Animal Rescue Hero award. Safari West visitors today can sign up for a Day Tripper property tour in an open jeep, dine at the on-site restaurant and stroll the grounds; the really adventurous can even spend the night in a heated tent cabin.

Organizations Helping a Community to Rebuild

Out of the ashes of the devastating 2017 Wine Country fires, Rebuild NorthBay created a foundation called RiseUp Community Impact Grants that will give up to $400,000 to groups focused on rebuilding, preparedness and wildfire prevention. To date, the foundation has granted $62,500 to the following organizations, recognized for their work and the positive impact they make in their communities.

Glen Ellen Forum

Wolf Creek Firewise Community

The LIME Foundation

The Office of Resiliency and Recovery, Sonoma County

University of California Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County

News of the North Bay

Lake County Community Risk Reduction Authority

Mendocino County Fire Safe Council North Bay Construction Corps

For more information please click here.

This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition under the headline: “Sonoma Serengeti”.