Cal Fire

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 (  Money is the best thing to donate as it lets the victims and relief groups buy what is really needed.



About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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39 Responses to Cal Fire

  1. This is all so tragic Andrew. Glad to hear that you and Heather were okay. How is the air now? A friend if mine has a nephew who lost not one but two homes in the Woolsey fire. They had closed one a home they were buying and waiting to close on the house they were selling. But he and his family got out before the home they were living in burned and are fine. Still…yikes! Interesting to note how fast this was dropped by the news outlets… Are you still getting updates out there about the missing? My heart aches for the lives lost and torn apart by this horrific tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve had a good week of rain so the air is clear. Sorry to hear about your friends. Even the press here is starting to stop following the story. In Butte county they are down to 158 missing, but up to 88 dead between both fires. It’s a horrible situation.


  2. Baydreamer says:

    We have a friend who also lost her home, but she has remained upbeat and grateful that she, her husband, and their animals are alive and safe. The smokey sky has been horrible, but then we have to remember that it consists of all the things those people have lost. When we break it down and really think about it, the perspective is profound. It’s still so surreal and heartbreaking…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CJ Hartwell says:

    Thank you for the update – I was wondering how things were going for you. It’s hard to believe that with the amount of technology and resources we have today, tragedies like this can still happen. Such is the reality of an uncontrolled fire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re doing fine, except for the smoke, but a mask and it’s tolerable. We’re getting more details on the fire – today I learned that at one point the fire was traveling about 2 miles a minute. Turns out they had a carefully planed fire evacuation system that would notify residents by phone when it was time to go. Cell towers and phone lines were destroyed by fire before they could be used. No one ever thought a fire could be this bad or move this fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Debra says:

    I’m on some medication right now for breathing issues. I’ve never had this kind of trouble, but then again, I’ve never been breathing in these pollutants. It’s a small thing compared to what people are suffering. I’m just in awe at the destruction, the lives lost and the number reported missing. I honestly wonder if your estimate of 200 lives lost will be a little low. It’s a rough time. My children have come down here for a week. The air in Oakland so bad they have closed the schools. Our air quality isn’t good, but it isn’t like the Bay Area. Most of our local businesses are already providing good ways to donate relief funds, and that’s a start. The need is going to be massive. I hope you and Heather can stay indoors and minimize the effects. It’s going to linger a long while, I’m thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m having breathing issues have been indoors a couple of days now and wear a mask when I go out. We’re hearing of schools down here in the South Bay closing next week. At best, it’s predicted to clear by Wednesday. I know my prediction is low, but I’m am optimist and hope more people got out than I fear.


  5. I know. So very very awful. The time fires were surrounding us down here in SoCal I’d never been so frightened. I think my husband was home from work for two weeks. We didn’t even want to go outside. If we did, we wore masks. Lord, help our poor state and all those people and firefighters.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good to hear you and your wife are safe. My heart just aches for all those who have lost loved ones and homes and for those missing. The devastation is almost beyond belief but I am thankful for those disaster relief organizations who step in to help.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stay safe, Andrew. I can relate to everything you mentioned. Last summer, a wildfire here in Greece, near Athens, claimed the lives of 100 people. Believe me when I say I feel for all of you! I had family members who lost their homes to the fire as well, but the most important (and devastating) thing is the loss of so many lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. jfwknifton says:

    What a dreadful series of events with so many individual tragedies.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Those fires are horrifying. I’m glad you’re safe. I can only imagine how devastating it must be for the people who have lost everything; and for the families awaiting news of their missing loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. pommepal says:

    The wild fires seem to get worse every year. Pleased you are both ok, but air quality is a problem. We are just coming into our fire season and the prediction is it will be a bad one

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ant11sam says:

    I’m no stranger to wild fires since i was just a kid.
    Our biggest ones were just last year with a number of deaths near 90 (our population is around 10 000 000). One year later there are still people in the hospital.
    Stay safe, and my thoughts are with you people of California!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pied Type says:

    We’re no strangers to wildfire here in Colorado, but what’s happening in California is beyond imagination. I have relatives out there, but not near the fires. All of you out there, stay safe. I think of you every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I talked to a friend yesterday who has a second home in Oroville and he said that most folks have taken in families who escaped the fires around Paradise. This disaster is straining the relief resources around our state, but not the compassion and strength of the citizens to help one another. Thanks for the link to UMCOR.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lorieb says:

    It is a very sad and frightening situation. Glad you and Heather are safe, I was hoping my memory was correct and you were far enough away.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. dorannrule says:

    I am so glad you and Heather are o.k. What a horror these fires created. My son lives in the San Diego area…so far o.k. too.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Stay safe, Andrew. Down here in Orange County, we’re pretty untouched by it all, but I do have family that is struggling.

    Liked by 2 people

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