The Fires and The Firefighters

fires

Looking at this photo brings up the sadness, loss and grief I hope none of you have to experience first hand.

Nevertheless I feel immensely grateful that my place and neighborhood survived intact. I am grateful to these firefighters and emergency services that fought the fires in the Sonoma Valley (they report that some of the Glen Ellen fires should be contained on 10/27, tomorrow 20 days from the start of the fires on 10/8):

Sonoma Valley
Shellvista
Eldridge
Glen Ellen
Kenwood
Mayacamas

Sonoma Sheriffs

Alameda County Fire Department Alaska
Altaville-Melones Fire Protection District
Amador Fire Protection District
Angels Camp Fire Department
Apple Valley Fire Protection District
Arcata Fire Protection District
Arizona
Aromas Tri County Fire Protection Department
Arrowbear Lake Fire Department
Bakersfield Fire Department
Briceland Volunteer Fire Department
Butte Valley Fire Protection District
Calaveras Consolidated Fire Authority
California Office of Emergency Services
Canada
Carlsbad Fire Department
Central Calaveras Fire and Rescue Protection District
Chester Fire Protection District
Colorado
Colton Fire Department
Cypress Fire Protection Department
Dunsmuir Fire Department
East Bay Regional Parks Fire Department
El Dorado County Fire Protection District
Encinitas Fire Department
Fortuna Fire Protection District
Fresno County Fire Protection District
Georgetown Fire Protection District
Gridley Fire Department
Higgins Fire Protection District
Humboldt Fire Protection District
Idaho
Ione Fire Department
Jackson Volunteer Fire Department
Janesville Fire Protection District
La Verne Fire Department
Lewiston Volunteer Fire Department
Loma Rica Browns Valley Community Service District
Los Angeles Fire Department
Madera County Fire Department
Marin County Fire Department
Mariposa County Fire Department
Merced County Fire Department
Miranda Community Service District
Montana
Montecito Fire Protection Department
Monterey County Regional Fire District
Mount Shasta Fire Department
Mount Shasta Fire Protection District
Napa County Fire Department
Nevada
New Mexico
North County Fire Protection Department
North Lake Tahoe Fire Department
Ontario Fire Department
Pala Reservation Fire Department
Paradise Fire Department
Placer County Fire Department
Placer Hills Fire Protection District
Presidio of Monterey Fire Department
Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District
Redlands Fire Department
Rialto Fire Department
Rio Dell Fire Protection District
Riverside County Fire Department
Roseville Fire Department
Running Springs Fire Department
Salinas Fire Department
San Bernadino County Fire
San Diego County Operational Area
San Gabriel Fire Department
San Manuel Fire Department
San Marcos Fire Protection Department
San Mateo Fire Department
Santa Barbara County Fire Department
Santa Barbara County Fire Department
Santa Cruz County Fire Department Santa Fe Springs Fire Department
Seaside Fire Department
Shasta College Fire Protection District
Shasta County Fire Department
South Carolina
South Lake County Fire Protection District
Spaulding Community Service District Fire Department
Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department
Stockton fire
Tehama County Fire Department
Tulare County Fire Department
Vista Fire Protection Department
Washington
Willow Oak Fire Protection District
Woodland Fire Department
Wyoming
Yermo Fire Department (Community Service)
Yocha DeHe Fire Department
Yolo County Operational Area
Yucaipa Fire Department
Also the police departments:
Alameda County Sheriff Office
Alameda PD
Albany PD
BART PD
Berkeley PD
Brentwood PD
Campbell PD
Central Marin PD
CHP
Clayton PD
Cloverdale PD
Concord PD
Contra Costa City Sheriff
East Bay Regional Parks
El Cerrito PD
Emeryville PD
Fish and Game
Fremont PD
Gilroy PD
Hayward PD
Humboldt Sheriffs
Livermore PD
Los Gatos PD
Marin City Sheriff
Mill Valley PD
Monterey Sheriff
Mountain View PD
Novato PD
Oakland PD
Oakley PD
Pinole PD
Pittsburg PD
Pleasant Hill PD
Pleasanton PD
Richmond PD
San Anselmo PD
San Jose PD
San Leandro PD
San Mateo County PDs
San Pablo PD
San Rafael PD
San Ramon PD
Santa Clara PD and Sheriff
SF PD
SF Sheriff
Solano County Sheriff
UC Berkeley PD
UCSC PD
UCSF PD
Union City PD
Vallejo PD
Walnut Creek PD

Australia and Canada Fire Departments

I believe this list is part of Santa Rosa as well. Thank God they decided to Be a Firefighter or a Police Officer!!!

Refugee

An unfolding chronicle of events:

Being out of my home for more than 24 hours while waiting for the fires not to come or to come is something that is particularly difficult to handle.

When the sheriff came by with the order to evacuate they made it sound mandatory. Later found out it was advised. So Friday I went back: found power on, but phone (cable down). On the way there I felt the devastation. It wasn’t just peoples’s lives being lost and homes destroyed by fire, it was wildlife fleeing and being killed, it was the sorrow of Earth, it was all the sorrow and loss everywhere. I had to shut it down and go into my head. A survival mechanism and I had been driving at the time.

Some, maybe many people have stayed in Sonoma since the fires started. The Plaza, the square downtown is mostly abandoned many have already fled. Other mandatory evacuations and a fire east of The Plaza have been reported since yesterday and some this morning. I will probably take another trip back on Tuesday 10/17 unless the road is blocked off by the authorities or go back to stay if the all clear comes. I doubt the all clear will come on by Tuesday.

This morning I reached the niece of my ex and good friend of 32 years. She had moved back to Canada about 15 years ago. We had kept in-touch through letters (snail mail), email and phone calls. But I couldn’t reach her so I wrote a letter. Her niece told me she had died of a rare form of cancer in May. She had checked into a Hospice and said she didn’t have any family. The hospice discovered her niece. The hospice reported she had done well for about 4 weeks and then took a turn for the worst. Her niece went to fill out paperwork and while she was working on that Wendy passed. Another loss. On Sept 29 another good friend passed from cancer.

All this loss. Naturally I feel grief and loss on all fronts. And I’m doing okay.

Northern California Wildfires – October 2017

I am struck by the stillness – feelings of people hunkering down and lost. I felt the sadness and fears of others and I felt my own fears and sadness. I felt a stillness and silence within me and in my surrounding space – it felt good and cosmic in my core surrounded by loss.

Then there is the power of the fire – to consume and how frail I am in the face of it. I am humbled by the power of nature, the impermanence of life. I feel my attachment to it and my attachment to my stuff.

 I drove to the store in the smoke this evening (10/9/17).

 The first feelings of the stillness feels good and then it is immediately followed by shock, loss, grief and fears. Soot falls like bizarre snowflakes in the day and at night. By day soot is snow-like and at night it could be mistaken for mist.

At the supermarket people seemed slowly rushed and disembodied as if somnambulates wandering in shock on short forays for survival.

And the fires burn on…

 

Over 100 wildfires are still burning and firefighters first priorities have been to rescue people and then work on containment.