No wisdom or humor today. Instead a little update on how things are out here. I’ve received a couple of emails from concerned folks. Heather and I are fine. California is a big state and the closest fire to us, the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA, is a 3.5 hour drive northeast (about 180 miles). The other big fire is the Woolsey in Malibu is a 6 hour drive south (about 360 miles).
I personally know one person who has lost a home in Paradise. The numbers rolling in each day just get worse. Currently there are 66 confirmed dead in both fires. 600 plus are still on the missing list. Over 250,000 acres have burned (the size of some states), and over 12,000 structures have been destroyed. Full containment of the fires isn’t expected until the end of the month.
It’s expected that all the numbers will get worse. I think the final death toll will be close to 200 and a number of people will never be found. There will be close to 30,000 homeless. In the Paradise area shelters are reporting full and the evacuees are going to have to find new places to live soon. Not an easy thing to do in a state that is already critically short on housing. Many of the victims are elderly on fixed incomes, making their problem even worse.
I expect many will have to move out of state to live with relatives and will never be able to return.
The smoke from the fires has made the air very unhealthy and both Heather and I are having minor issues because of that.
But we have a home.
Others are in worse air with no home to return to.
We sent a donation to our church’s relief organization, UMCOR (umcor.org). Money is the best thing to donate as it lets the victims and relief groups buy what is really needed.