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Double Rainbow Guy stands his ground against Yosemite wildfires

Paul "Bear" Vasquez isn't ready to abandon his Yosemite property in the face of raging wildfires.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 18, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 1:14 pm CDT

The Double Rainbow Guy has a new sight to behold— and it’s a lot more deadly than a double rainbow.

Paul “Bear” Vasquez first noticed the wildfires making their way through central California and Yosemite National Park on Sunday—part of what’s feared to be the worst season in a century. He had been talking on the phone with a CNN reporter, but he immediately grabbed his camera and started filming.

From the very first shot, Bear’s live report has the look and feel of the “Double Rainbow” video. He zooms in and out on the fire and stack of smoke and expresses his amazement at the height and amount of destruction the flames are causing to the forest.

Vasquez had been ordered to evacuate his home, but he refused. He told the CNN reporter that he’d been planning for a major fire for decades and he knew what he was doing. 

“All the people who live here ran away like chickens,” he wrote. “Ha. I fear nothing. I see it all as exciting, interesting and amazing!”

As a fire science major and firefighter for many years, Bear has experience dealing with fires. He also has a 2,500 gallon water tank and water hose streams from his well and hot tub on the property, so if the fire reaches his property, he may be able to hold back the flames until the firefighters arrive.

However, he does know his limits.

“I intend to stay here and protect my fruit trees and my house and all that,” Vasquez said. “If it looks like it’s gonna kill me, I have an evacuation plan. I have a 4-wheel drive vehicle setup that I’m gonna just drive it outta here. I’ll throw my dogs in the car and take off. But yeah, so I’m not gonna risk my life, you know, for things, but I think I can handle it and I know my boundaries.”

Photo via Yosemite Bear/Facebook

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*First Published: Jun 18, 2013, 1:13 pm CDT