California is on fire. The current fires in Northern California are just horrific. The speed at which the fires hit and the total devastation left behind is worse than any other fire I can recall.
Heather and I live 70 miles south of the nearest fire and even at that distance we can smell the wood smoke. The pictures on the news are unimaginable. One friend posted on Facebook that his brother lost his home. Another friend is watching her childhood neighborhood under threat and friends and family suffering.
Looking at the maps I realized that a woodworking friend of mine lives near a fire (see Fire Maps for all the fires burning). It was hard to tell from the maps whether or not his home was destroyed. I was relieved to get an answer to my email to him. He is safe in a motel and the fire stopped a couple of miles from his home. His hoping to be allowed to return on Friday.
As of this writing the death toll stands at 15, with hundreds missing, and at least 2,000 homes destroyed. Not just burnt, but reduced to ash with nothing remaining. Some people escaped with just the clothes they were wearing – that’s how fast this hit.
And it hit areas I thought would never burn.
Sadly, this news will get worse before the week is out and containment of the fires is a long way off.
If you have a extra prayer or a few dollars for the Red Cross, the folks up there could use it.