As the holidays approach, many families are getting into the spirit of Christmas. However, many others in Northern California find themselves unable to celebrate in the wake of the October fires. Despite the disaster, one Wine Country man is trying to spread holiday cheer, even though he lost almost everything.
Although a welder by trade, Bud Pochini always enjoyed supplying NorCal residents with Christmas cheer through his evergreen farm. This year in the October wildfires, Bud lost his home, his welding shop, and a priceless family car. The only thing Bud didn’t lose was a portion of his Christmas trees. While he lost 1,500 fir trees to the fires, he still has 5,000 trees to sell from his own stock. He is also pulling 500 trees from the Pacific Northwest to help him make up for the lost stock.
While Bud enjoys selling his Christmas trees, there is more to Bud than welding and farming.
25 years ago, Bud became a volunteer fireman after a wildfire broke out on his property. Ever since then, Bud has helped others in numerous fires. This year, Bud and his 17-year old daughter cleared paths for the county fireman as the fire and winds continued to topple debris onto the road. Their efforts aided first response teams throughout the community.
However, Bud’s real heroism came later that night when Storybook Mountain Vineyards requested Bud come and use his firefighting knowledge to keep the property safe. As Bud fought the fire using techniques he learned as a volunteer fireman, he heard an explosion down the road. He knew that his sister’s place has been claimed by the flames, which meant that his property was next. However, Bud had committed to helping his friend, and he saw to it that Storybook Mountain Vineyards suffered as little damage as possible. His efforts saved the business, all while his house burned to the ground.
Bud could have possibly saved his home, but he focused on others instead.
Bud is proud of what he did, as he figures that he saved at least 12 properties. Bud claims that if he had to relive the situation, he wouldn’t change his decision to help others over himself.
“If I had to do it over again, I would,” Bud said.