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Penn Valley, CA — Area survivalist and part-time cattle rancher Bryan Buxton of Penn Valley, CA, has spent over 15 years collecting and storing food and weapons in his backyard underground bunker. Over the weekend, when rehearsing for what he calls an ‘apocalypse scramble,’ the 58-year-old doomsday “prepper” accidentally locked himself inside his underground bomb shelter.

“Well, that was embarrassing,” said Mr. Buxton speaking of his ordeal after being freed by the sheriff. “I mean, I guess it’s a good thing, you know? The fact that I couldn’t get out and that it took them 4 hours to blowtorch me out means it’s’ safe from the socialists. Maybe too strong.”

The son of “Jack” Mormons, Mr. Buxton built his bunker in the summer of 1999, just before the Y2K event, which was supposed to end modern civilization at the time. When that didn’t happen, he switched his sights to other pending disasters, which also didn’t happen. But that hasn’t stopped him from stockpiling food and goods over the years.

The trouble started on Saturday when Mr. Buxton returned from a Costco run with 4 cases of tomato sauce and 1400 rolls of toilet paper. While loading the items, a gust of wind slammed the door shut, breaking the latches and not allowing him to exit.

Bryan Buxton of Penn Valley, CA is not sure what he's preparing for anymore.
Bryan Buxton of Penn Valley, CA, is unsure what he’s preparing for.

“I was in the back of bunker when I heard it slam shut,” continued Mr. Buxton. “I couldn’t get the damn thing open. But then I thought, this is a good practice run.”

3 Days in the Hole

Mr. Buxton spent the next 3 days living in his bunker in what he called a dry run. However, on day three, he began to get uneasy.

“It started to get a little claustrophobic in there. I knew this was something that might happen, so I just took a nap. But when I woke up, I was not feeling well. That’s when I used my cell phone to call my buddy Jake. When he could get the door open, that’s when we called the Sheriff.”

That was just the beginning of Mr. Buxton’s troubles. Not only did he receive a $2500 bill for the extraction, but his bunker also sustained several hundred dollars in damage during the rescue. But it was what the county did that hurt the most.

“Yeah, I was cited for not having a permit for my bunker,” said a frustrated Bryan. “The county came later that day and red-taped the damn thing. They said I couldn’t even go in there to get my things out. Look, man. I’ve got 17 cases of Ramen, and 23 lbs of bouillon from 2002, which I think might be bad. And several cases of cream of chicken soup for casseroles. All just sitting there.”

According to the county, Mr. Buxton has 30 days to bring his doomsday bunker up to code, or it must be demolished.