California wildfire survivors reunited with dog

Beckyjean Widen's family was sure Izzy had died in the blaze

Updated: 



Thousands of people have been evacuated and the death toll has risen to 40 as wildfires rage in California, with the northern part of the state's wine country hit by the deadliest fires in its history.

But amid the tragedy, one family has told of the incredible moment they were reunited with their dog after they were forced out of their home and believed their beloved pet had died.

SEE ALSO: Couple drive through California wildfires

SEE ALSO: British holidaymakers caught up in French Riviera wildfires chaos

Beckyjean Widen's parents were left devastated when their dog Izzy escaped just moments before the fire broke out and they had to find safety as quickly as possible.

Days later, her brother and husband returned to the area and were sure they would find Izzy's body.

Warning: Video contains strong language



After walking up hilly roads and discovering that their family home was destroyed, Jack Weaver and his brother-in-law Patrick Widen filmed the moment their nine-year-old Bernese mountain dog came running up to them.

Speaking to ABC, Weaver said: ""It was one of the greatest moments of my life."

Meanwhile Beckyjean shared a video of the tear-jerking moment on Facebook and wrote: "Just a heartwarming story to share in the middle of all this devastation. My parents woke up with flames surrounding their house in wikiup bridgeway and had seconds to get out.

"In the chaos of trying to escape, my parent's dog Izzy ran from them. My mom couldn't chase after her without risking her own life.

"They had to drive through walls of flames and across a burning wooden bridge to get to mark west springs road and to safety. They lost everything, but my mom was most devastated about leaving Izzy.

"My brother and husband were determined to try to get back to my parents property to see if by some miracle Izzy survived. They were turned away by police officers, but if you know my brother Jack or husband Patrick...neither one likes to be told no. They ended up hiking just under 3 miles to my parent's property.

"This video shows the last part of their hike up to my parent's house. It's a little long, but the ending is worth the watch.