Caltrans Supervisor Helps Mother and Children Get Past Flames on Highway 20

From Caltrans District 1:

Mike Quinliven, Caltrans Supervisor for Special Tree Crew South, was in the right place [last] Sunday afternoon.

From Honalee Newman via Facebook:
“Today we had a very close call while driving across hwy 20, … the fire jumped over hwy 20 and was burning on both sides of us… suddenly the flames were all around the car, the smoke was so thick I couldn’t see. Suddenly, a knock on my window, a Caltrans guy, “follow me!” I’m so thankful for him, and I wish I knew his name. He saved this Mama and three kids today! “
See her full post here:

Mike said he was working on Highway 20 about 3 miles east of Buffalo Ranch when the fire was really starting to pick up momentum. The smoke was so thick he pulled over because he could not see the road. He called CHP to have them help close the road and right after that the fire jumped the highway and was burning on both sides. He spotted a tanker truck and helped guide it out because he was concerned about the flammable gasoline on board. Then he came back down the road and found Honalee Newman’s car pulled over. When he got out of his truck to walk over to her window he felt the heat and realized the true intensity of the flames. Even though he could barely see the road, he drove in front of her to guide her out through the fire.

Thank you for your dedication Mike! Mike joins the ranks of many people stepping up to help in this challenging time. Thank you to all the fire crews and first responders doing heroic things every day.



  • I love reading stories like this!

    Thanks Kym…

  • Umm…this fire has been going for over a week. Closing route 20 at different times and always a threat. A tanker full of gas? A mother brought her 3 children into it? I’m glad everybody is okay but…well, that is dangerous behavior. What were they thinking by gambling like that?!

  • THANK YOU Mike for getting those people out of harms way. You are a hero in my book!

  • Kudos to Mike Quinliven!!!
    Maybe the mom was trying to leave a dangerous situation.

  • It takes all kinds

    Way to go Mike!!!! Man, you are a hero!! Getting not just the mom and kids but also the tanker out of there! Way to go man!! Your family I’m sure is proud of you and everyone you helped is so so grateful to you. It’s just awesome.

  • I love reading happy stories on here too! Thank you Kym for keeping us updated!

  • That photo is really quite stunning. Kinda sums it up, doesn’t it?

  • Thank you very much Mike. We know this woman and family and are very thankful that they had someone with your dedication.

  • The last pic is quite powerful. It needs to go viral

  • Thats A True Hero Awesome Story And Thank You Mike For Showing True Caring and Concern about Another Human Being What a Great Story❤️CALTRANS

  • Thank you to all the workers in an near these fires. In this instance & others, they are called on and step up to do all manner of unordinary, extraordinay things to help protect people & places.
    Thank you Firefighters, LEO, first responders, road crews and utility crews. It has to be terrifying. We are indebted to you for your efforts.

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