Home > Miracles: Mr Davies And The Iron Canyon Fire

Miracles: Mr Davies And The Iron Canyon Fire

from the March 09, 2010 eNews issue
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"Everything was black as far as you could see. We looked out from the top of that hill and it was totally black, except for what was around Mr. Davies' house." -Sheri Munson

Today's secular scientists maintain a skepticism of miracles. They tend to discount the miracles of the Bible out of hand because of an anti-supernaturalistic bias, a bias that rejects the possibility that a mighty God intervenes in human lives in obvious, tangible ways. Yet miracles did not only occur in the Bible, but they continue to take place today.

In order to do their jobs, scientists have to depend on the natural world – these four dimensions (three dimensions plus Time) that we can directly experience with our five senses. Scientists are dependent on experimentation that can be repeated over and over and still give the same results. Science is an excellent tool for learning about this world around us, and scientists have freed the world from much superstition by finding the natural causes of things previously attributed to the gods, things like sickness and lightning. However, just because science depends on the "natural" world doesn't mean the natural world is all there is. It just means that science is limited in what it can explain through experimentation. And yet, physicists have already provided evidence that there are many dimensions beyond the four we're familiar with.

What's more, things happen on this planet every day that defy naturalistic explanations. God still does miracles all the time. For the next several weeks we will tell about modern miracles in the lives of people close to our ministry. In every case we have verified the miracles through two or more reliable witnesses.

The Iron Canyon Fire and Mr. Davies:
It rained a lot in the desert north of Los Angeles during the spring of 1958, and the grass grew tall over the normally brown mountains. That fall, the hot Santa Ana winds came through and dried up that tall grass, priming the area for trouble.  Southern California is known for its dangerous wildfires. 

Doug Austin was 15-years-old in 1958, and he describes the fierce fire that swept through the desert from Saugus to Palmdale that fall. "We called it the Iron Canyon Fire because it started in Iron Canyon when lightning struck. My dad and I were driving down the road alongside it, and that fire was going just as fast as we were in my dad's truck."

Up on a lonely hilltop in that area lived an old black man known as Mr. Davies. "We'd take pies up to him on Thanksgiving. He was a nice old guy," Austin recounts.

Sheri Munson was just 9-years-old, but she also remembers Mr. Davies. "We would ride our horses up there to his house. His house was made out of nothing but cardboard and tin and pieces of wood that he'd found around. He had a few chickens and that was it. We'd ride up and sit on our horses and he would tell us stories about Jesus. "

That year when the Iron Canyon Fire raged through, Munson remembers being very worried about Mr. Davies. As soon as the burned land cooled enough for their horses to pick through the hot spots, Munson rode her horse out to see if Mr. Davies had escaped. She hoped that the old man had been able to get out before the fire destroyed his little patchwork house. It turned out that he had not been able to get out of the way of the fire after all.

"We came up the hill on our horses," Munson tells, "and all of a sudden, when we got to the top, we were in tall grass up to our horse's shoulders. There was Mr. Davies' house in the center of it all with his little chickens out there. We could see a long ways from that hilltop and it was black all around, as far as you could see.

"We said, ‘What happened, Mr. Davies!  What did you do?' He said, ‘I saw the fire coming,' and he went out there and pointed, and he said, ‘and I went out and got on my knees and prayed, and asked God to spare me, and I saw the fire split and it went around me on both sides and it came back together over there.'

"If you were to take half a football field and make it round, that's how big it was. Everything except what was around his house was burned black, " Munson said. 

"There was no reason, no reason his house should have been standing." Austin commented, giving the same description of the blackened mountainous desert. "Mr. Davies was a religious man," he finished.

Munson said, "It was fifty years ago, but I can still remember sitting on my horse with the grass clear up to his shoulders, talking to Mr. Davies. And the thing of it was, it just seemed so normal." She paused. "Mr. Davies was pretty excited."

God still does great things in this world. Science may have a hard time finding the true explanation, but just because science is limited, God is not. We see Him working constantly in the lives of His creation to show His great love and mercy and to demonstrate His power and glory in this world.