REDDING (CBS SF/AP) — Residents were not the only ones fleeing the deadly flames of the Carr Fire as it scorched a path of destruction near Redding over the weekend.
Wildlife also was threatened and on the move.
California Highway Patrol Sgt. Dave Fawson was among the officers assisting with the evacuation when he came upon a frightened one-month-old fawn who had become separated from its mother.
He carried it to the patrol car and as he did, the fawn licked his face several times in thanks.
“We were driving through an active fire, when Cal Fire said, ‘Can you take a deer out here for us?'” Fawnson said. “I held it in my lap as we drove out.”
He and his partner took the fawn to safer area miles away, but the baby deer didn’t run away like Fawson thought it would.
“It stayed right by me,” he said. “When it tried to nurse on one of my fingers, I thought, ‘This is truly a young baby.'”
Fawson, 38, said he asked a colleague to take a photo because he knew his four daughters, ages 7, 9, 12 and 15, “would love it.” The popularity of the photos online took him by surprise. Pictures of the fawn sitting in his lap in a patrol car and licking his neck have been shared more than 16,000 times on Facebook.
Representatives from Haven Wild Care’s fawn rescue program came to retrieve her within two hours. They named her Carra, after the fire she escaped.