Peutz Valley, CA: The valley where Sterling Oaks Ranch was nestled near San Diego lost 75% of the residences in the recent fires. Miraculously, the Sterling's place was spared, although everything right up to the house itself (chicken coop, mulch, scrap wood, newly planted trees) burned to ash.

When Joe saw his place still standing, he said to himself: "You have to earn this."

He pulled the grill around and began cooking for neighbors and friends who were clearing roads, and sifting debris.

His ranch became the planning center for the rescue and rebuilding effort. Church groups, the US Marines, the Red Cross, FEMA, all rolled through.