On Podsitivity, Brynn Chatfield speaks with Jolie Hales about the hours leading up to the Paradise wildfire in 2018 and how she overcame the loss of the only community she ever knew.
When Paradise Isn’t
“When Paradise Isn’t,” a 90-minute deep dive into the story of Brynn Chatfield, the woman whose video of her praying as she drove through the flames of Paradise’s Camp Fire went viral, was released today by Podsitivity with Jolie Hales, an award-winning series of audio documentaries featuring some of the most inspiring true stories of the modern era.
Byrnn Chatfield described how they transformed from being surrounded by flames into being enveloped in flames. She can recall thinking that although she didn’t mind dying, she didn’t want to die this way.
Jolie Hales, host of Podsitivity, saw that video in 2018. It has stayed with her throughout all of this time due to Brynn’s raw honesty and unique calm as she drove through that fire tunnel, when most of us would have likely reacted quite differently, which is understandable. She knew I wanted to talk to her when she first started hosting this podcast to get her full perspective, including everything that happened before that moment and how she dealt with such a loss afterwards. She did not let her down.
2018 California Wildfire
On November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire in Butte County killed 85 people and destroyed 18,804 buildings, including 90% of the homes in the town of Paradise. The episode tells incredible tales of heroism and bravery, as well as how members of the community and the world as a whole stepped in to offer assistance following the devastation, through interviews, dispatch recordings, and actual 911 calls from the day of the fire.
Daron Wyatt, the Chief Information Officer at the Camp Fire, who was also interviewed for the episode, said how the expierence was horrifying, but that it kind of restored your faith in humanity.
Wyatt relates that he has witnessed a plethora of acts of kindness and selflessness from residents of the area as well as people from other countries. Some examples include witnessing a police officer who lost his own home go out of his way to retrieve the ashes of a woman’s father from the evacuation zone and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger surprising first responders by coming to help cook in the kitchen unannounced.
Brynn Chatfield talked about how, in a world where the news keeps telling us how wicked and bad everyone is, she saw compassion and love from people. She thinks we have a population of good people and a few bad people. She believes that instead of focusing on the few bad people, we should pay attention to the majority of really good people who want to love and help other people.
The audio documentary series Podsitivity with Jolie Hales combines high-production storytelling with authentic interviews to really put the listener in the shoes of those who have risen from the ashes of hardship, reached out to help someone, or witnessed an unfathomable miracle. Podsitivity, which is hosted and produced by award-winning filmmaker and former Disney Ambassador Jolie Hales, aims to highlight the good in the world.
Podsitivity is available worldwide on podcast platforms and in video format on YouTube and Facebook.