Cult hero emerges from Taylorsville

Dan Kearns’ livestreams on his Facebook page have become Indian Valleys favorite source of information during the Dixie and Fly fires. Photo submitted

    “This is a disclaimer. I’m not speaking for IVCSD or the IVFD. I’m just a guy. I’m just a volunteer,” said Dan Kearns at the end of one of his livestream updates on facebook. But that’s not how Taylorsville and Indian Valley residents at large see him. Somehow he’s emerged as the go-to person for information on the Dixie and Fly fires as they head closer and closer to our towns.

     Finding out the latest of what’s happening with the Dixie and Fly fires can be more than unsettling and not always easy for the layperson to grasp. Our imaginations can work overtime and for some of us our worst fears have been realized. It’s easy to start panicking even if you don’t meant to.

     Taylorsville’s volunteer firefighter Dan Kearns understands that, and for over a week now he has become the voice of reason, assurance, and calm in the face of adversity. He now has a bit of a cult following on Facebook for his livestreams two to three times a day, disseminating information and addressing concerns.

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     “Clear, concise, and easily understood information from just a guy,” said Jeanna Van Brocklin on Kearns’ Facebook page.

     “So awesome to see the community coming together to beat this thing,” said Christian Gaston Palmaz on the same page. There are many, many thanks on that page too.

     Not only does Kearns give fire updates and explain what’s happening at the moment in terms and maps that everyone can understand, he also comes to his livestreams with fire related information and accolades the public needs to know about too. For example, letting the public know that Alicia Dalton and Wayne Kelly are going around feeding and watering evacuees’ pets that may have been left behind. Or that Pappenhausen’s Pit Stop and Mary’s German Grill are cooking up food for free in downtown Greenville for both firefighters and those who’ve stayed behind.

     He gives shout outs to those in the community tirelessly (and often unsung) who are helping keep the valley afloat—like his shout out to Don Silva today—the Indian Valley Community Services District’s main employee who’s keeping water services up and running—and Kearns’ reminder for residents to boil water first before using.

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     The information Kearns shares is all readily available online in social media and official channels, of course, but there’s something about both his delivery and his priorities and the calmness of his voice that has Indian Valley appreciating that he’s one of us—and is there for us. Indian Valley is grateful that Kearns calls this beautiful spot in the county home.

     Dan Kearns posts his livestreams of information on his Facebook page.