Hazy, Smoke Filled Days

Most likely you have heard or read about the horrific fires ongoing in California right now.  It is hard to put into words how awful this siege of fires has been, still is really….

The Napa/Santa Rosa fires are the most tragic, at least in terms of homes lost. All of these fires began Sunday night as the northern regions in California experienced a sudden burst of high winds.  The horrific loss of homes in Santa Rosa is disastrous.  These photos have been floating around the internet so you may have already seen them.

One of the Santa Rosa neighborhoods after the fire.

Another photo of Santa Rosa.

When my family went to bed Sunday night the wind was just crazy and we woke up Monday morning to calls that school had been cancelled. There were large numbers of people being evacuated from their homes and several huge fires were raging. I am very fortunate to live about 6 miles from the closest fire so our home was safe.  But many were not so fortunate. Now, two days later, some of the evacuations have been lifted.  We have not lost nearly as many homes as the heavily populated Santa Rosa area, but at this point, more than 200 structures in the three largest fires nearby have burned. Yesterday was windy again, making battling the fires much more difficult.

Fire retardant being dropped on the Lobo fire in Grass Valley, CA

As I write this, the most recent update is that the fires in my area are roughly 35% contained. This means they are making progress and, at the least, the fires aren’t spreading further. They opened school for all of the local schools but there are still several areas without power though. The air quality, as you’d imagine, is horrible.

Smokey haze in my front yard this morning.

At this point, there is no containment yet reported with the Santa Rosa fires. Hopefully the winds will remain calm today, making for a better firefighting situation. Unfortunately, there is no rain in the forecast this week.

Like I said, there aren’t words adequate to describe all of this. I am filled with gratitude for the fire fighters, first responders, and fire fighting teams from other parts of the state, as they work to put out these tragic fires. Throughout the day, I can hear the helicopters and planes that carry water and retardant to release over the fires. It is really eerie. The community has come together and supported each other. The fairgrounds opened up to take any livestock that needed to be evacuated. While my family was lucky this time and not affected by any of these fires, it is a vivid reminder that it could happen on any day to any one of us.  Living in this gorgeous tree filled and very dry region, fire is always a possibility.

Staying inside today because of the smokey air and will finish up a little project I started while Julia and I were home together this week. Hope to share this with you tomorrow.

28 thoughts on “Hazy, Smoke Filled Days

  1. Stephanie

    I am so happy to read that you are all safe. Fire is so heartbreaking. We deal with it here in Colorado every year and were relatively lucky this year that it was contained to less populated areas. Prayers to all who are impacted and have lost loved ones.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Oops, bumped the send button…. anyway, just hoping the firefighters can get ahead. The state is dealing with fires up and down all of California so the firefighting resources are stretched very thin. Horrible times lately…..

      Reply
  2. SarahZ

    Oh my goodness, Bernie! I thought you were in Colorado!!! I am at a loss as to how these fires overcame these communities! It is gut wrenching! I am so glad to hear you all escaped immediate danger, although I know the hurt of the devastation is inescapable! hugs to you, friend!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      The speed of the spread of fire was just fierce- they couldn’t stop it and sadly it was a heavily residential area, not rural properties – it is still uncontrolled- there are fires up and down the whole state.

      Reply
  3. Wendy

    So good to hear that you are safe, but those pictures of Santa Rosa are just heartbreaking. Oh that your area could have some days of rain! Take care, and enjoy being tucked in and quilting.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      It is heart breaking…. we have a lot of family in the Santa Rosa area and I have two friends who live there (used to be my next door neighbor) so are very concerned. One family member, my cousin, lost her home but I think the others are safe. It is horrible Wendy. Rain would certainly be helpful. Thanks for your note.

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Karen, it is an overwhelming situation, really hard to wrap my head around the extent of the damages. Thank you for your note.❤️

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Yvonne. So scary and the sheer number of individual fires in CA is unbelievable. Not enough resources to deal with all of this. Hoping this ends just as soon as possible.

      Reply
  4. Bernie2

    Bernie – I didn’t realize you were only six miles away from the fires! It seems no matter where you go, there is something. We have hurricanes, you have fire. So sorry – – – my prayers are that the wind subsides and, well………..it all goes away! I’m so sorry for you all.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Yes, there are too many disastrous events going on lately. The Napa fires continue to grow but the fires close to me are contained. We really need some rain – that would be so helpful. Take care Carole.

      Reply
  5. lindak21

    Oh my, I didn’t realize you were in California. It’s so funny living in Indiana and reading blogs…it seems like we’re all just close by. We are visiting our son in Cali now about 50 miles south of the fires. The air is smoky and they’ve cancelled all outdoor sports practices today for the high school kids here. Just know we’re all thinking about you and the folks north!!! A few weeks ago, we were visiting our daughter in New Orleans when hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit. Our daughter in Tampa evacuated to us in New Orleans and luckily all was well back where they live. Another daughter is dating a fellow who is from Puerto Rico and has family there, not so good. These disasters seem like they just keep coming. It’s horrible, terrible, and heart breaking! And through it all, people keep showing such love and support. Thank God for those who work in emergency response, those who volunteer, those who give, those who share moral support. People helping people – I’m hoping this love heals our nation and makes us see what is really important.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment Linda. I’m glad your family didn’t suffer too much with the hurricanes. It is weird how many natural disasters are happening right now, plus the horrific shooting in Las Vegas. Very unsettling, to put it mildly.
      What part of CA are you visiting?

      Reply
      1. lindak21

        We are in Moraga, about 10 miles east of Oakland. I hear they just closed schools for tomorrow. Hoping you stay safe and rains come soon. We have two more trips this fall planned around our kids’ lives (ha…they keep us hopping.) After that, I’ll be able to get started on the Sadie’s Dream for a Cure bags. Excited to get sewing again!

        Reply
        1. Bernie Post author

          So funny you should mention the Sadie’s Dream bags….. I just saw the sweetest post on Instagram from them and it made me want to make another bag for them. That was just a couple of hours ago. I guess I had better request another label!

          Reply
  6. Kristi

    Sending prayers for the safety of your friends and family. These fires are so scary, many of the people in Santa Rosa had no warning and very little time to evacuate. We had several friends and some of my son’s classmates in the evacuation groups in our two local fires. Thankfully their homes were safe and they have now returned home. I think in all this chaos, I’ve really been thinking about what matters in life. It’s so beautiful to see neighbors and community members helping others they don’t even know. That, to me, is our real strength, our bond and kinship as fellow human beings. God Bless Us Everyone.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Kristi. You are right in that people and community are what matters. Definitely– I have seen fire trucks from all over the state and some out of state driving through town this week. It is gratifying to see everyone hard at work to keep the community safe. Take care.

      Reply
  7. kathyh

    My little town of Canby – south of Portland, sent six firefighters, trucks and equipment south to California to help fight the horrible fires. We are finally out of the woods on most of our own wildfires.
    Please consider wearing a mask to help keep the smoke out of your lungs. Hoping the winds die down soon.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Kathy, I have seen so many trucks from all over that are here helping. It is wonderful. We are grateful to see these firefighters here at work.

      Reply

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