Life intervenes

I was all ready to post about some great books I've been reading, especially this one non-fiction title, but right now blogging about books is the last thing on my mind, so I thought I'd post something to let you all know what's going on.  We are just fine, but nobody else around here is...

Thursday morning a small wildfire sparked up on the ridge -- I live in a valley, but tucked up near the start of the mountains -- and it spread so fast.  This fire just exploded, and it turned out to be the Big One we all worried would come some day.  The winter rains haven't started yet, and everything is extremely dry.  Our lovely little neighbor town of Paradise was pretty well destroyed, while people escaped as fast as they could.  By evening, the fire was reaching the edges of our town too, but it's much easier to fight a fire on the valley floor, so although many people were evacuated, nearly all of them were able to go home the next day. 

Thursday morning
This fire is still raging -- it's up to 100,000 acres now, which means it has slowed considerably, but it's still only 20% contained at the moment.  They think it will take all month to get it completely controlled.  We have something like 40 or 50 thousand people displaced, many of whom have lost everything.  Many just don't know if their homes are still standing -- chances are slim, but on the other hand, structures we thought were lost have turned out to have survived.  The high school and the hospital are both surprisingly still standing, though it's a question whether Paradise can even be rebuilt. 

So many of our friends have lost their homes. Lots of folks are leaving town to stay with relatives -- if not because they're actually homeless, in order to escape the smoke.  The rest work at evacuation shelters.  School is cancelled for at least the next two weeks.  Suddenly there is nothing to do but watch the news and work at shelters or host people...find things to donate, that sort of thing.  Everybody is much too jittery to do much else.

So although I have plenty of free time now that I can't work and there's no school, I'm not sure I'll be able to blog either.  I guess I could put the 15yo on a Great Books reading program for a couple of weeks -- I'm a homeschooler again!

Man, California living is much more exciting than it ought to be.


  1. That's just awful, Jean! We have many wild fires in our province but at this time of year they've died down so it's the last thing I expect to hear about in November! I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose everything and I feel so badly for those people. I do hope they're able to contain more of the fire soon. Going back to homeschooling may help to be a distraction. Keep safe and well!

  2. Thanks, Cleo. Yeah, our fire season normally lasts through October, but we still haven't had rain, and it's been windy,'s been terrible.

  3. Very sorry to hear you are having to deal with the fire up there. Last December we suffered through that for weeks during the Thomas Fire. (We never had to evacuate but had secondary effects, some for weeks afterwards.) There are a couple of fires below us near Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, and Malibu.

  4. Oh, Jean. I'm sorry. I hope you stay safe. I saw it on the news last night before I read this and I was thinking of you as I always do now when there's problems in California. Take care, ok?

  5. Thanks, folks. <3 I really dislike wearing a face mask outside (they don't go well with glasses) but we are so fortunate.


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