Washington State couple Jake and Jamie Highland survive, but are lost to wildfire

When he could not reach his cousin, Jake Highland, on Monday, Jim Mabry dumped his family’s remote property in rural Washington State, where a wildfire turned 4-foot-high sage pastures into dust.

Jake and his wife, Jamie, along with their 1-year-old son, Yuriel, were visiting their land in Okanogan County when flames from the Cold Springs Fire spread to the area. Relatives could not reach the couple, or emergency services, because the power lines were down.

On Tuesday, Mabry discovered Jake’s truck stuck in Rekin, about a mile from the ground. The vehicle flew through the barbed wire fence. His windshield had melted, and the steering wheel and dashboard were slanted, he remembered.

“When I first saw the truck, I didn’t want to search,” Mabari told The Daily Beast. “I was very confident that I was coming to the remains. Because I saw no chance of making them.”

Yet Hildes made a rude exodus, relatives said, leaving his small pickup truck and heading to the Columbia River, where rescuers miraculously found it Wednesday morning.

His little boy was not left.


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